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Obese people to be refused surgery

(459 Posts)
ReallyReallyNearly Sat 03-Sep-16 09:02:30

Isn't this just another form of discrimination,
Argument seems to be on financial reason rather than health, do we stop nhs services for people who smoke, or those who drink too much etc. Where does one draw a line?!

Ratley Sat 03-Sep-16 09:08:56

In all honesty, yes I would like smokers suffering from a condition exacerbated by smoking to pay for treatment for that condition. The same with drinkers.
Eg. Someone who suffers diabetes, drinks huge amounts of lager causes a diabetic coma yes they should have to pay for that care. (I'm looking at you BIL)
If you choose not to help yourself then you should help pay for the consequences.

TheNaze73 Sat 03-Sep-16 09:11:25

I agree totally with Ratley

ReallyReallyNearly Sat 03-Sep-16 09:12:23

In principle I understand that arguement but in practice it deems certain groups as more worthy than others of health care, so being overweight moves you down the chain more than smoking or drinking? Seems highly problematic to me. It also blames individuals entirely for their weight, which though of course there is individual responsibility, there are also much wider socio-economic and commercial factors which impact this.

UmbongoUnchained Sat 03-Sep-16 09:12:58


GunnyHighway Sat 03-Sep-16 09:13:13

My dad was told to quit smoking before the NHS would perform surgery on him. So if obesity is self inflicted then fair play

phillipp Sat 03-Sep-16 09:13:46

I am in the fence. Because the operations they are talking about (knee and hip) have very difficult recoveries when you are overweight. It can make them a waste of time. My mums friend has had both knees replaced and no better off. She told me herself the doctors say it's because she is very overweight.

I do believe heavy drinkers can't have any operation they need, but I am happy to be corrected.

Also it clearly says smokers are included in this too restrictions will apply to patients with a body mass index of 30 or above which indicates obesity, as well as smokers.

So you point about smokers is taken up there.

While a lot of people genuinely struggle with their weight or have health issues which contribute. A lot of people just don't And expect the NHS to pick up the tab. Plus the operations are more risky, recovery is harder and success is limited.

But the same logic applies to smokers and drinkers and I do agree it's a slippery slope and worry where it will end.

I was overweight for years. Because I over ate and only ever half tried to eat healthy. There was always an excuse for another biscuit for example. So I am not judging people, but the NHS can't go on as it is.

friendlyfoxes Sat 03-Sep-16 09:14:30

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to blame people for their weight, although obviously I'd never phrase it as harshly as that.

PumpkinPie9 Sat 03-Sep-16 09:16:34

If someone was working and paying taxes but had no right to a hip replacement because of their weight, then presumably they'd have to give up work and claim disability benefits, so I'm not sure it's going to save much.

ToxicLadybird Sat 03-Sep-16 09:18:12

I think it's disgusting. For medical reasons reasons, eg safety or outcome, fair enough. But just as a means of saving money is discriminatory and just nasty.

FRETGNIKCUF Sat 03-Sep-16 09:18:28

I think obese people should be offered help way before it's a surgical issue, doctors should be able to tell people about their weight when they're nearing obesity and put measures into place then. Food care packages and weight loss plans alongside counselling to work out why the person is self harming with food would be a good start.

No one reaches morbid obesity overnight or without some serious issues, imo.

VeryPunny Sat 03-Sep-16 09:18:35

Many surgeries are much less successful in obese patients. Why put patients through expensive and potentially traumatic proceedures that don't have acceptable success rates? It's similar to how some drugs aren't prescribed in certain circumstances. I don't have a problem with it.

IfTheCapFitsWearIt Sat 03-Sep-16 09:19:43

Its sad to see how far we have we have slipped. Due to deliberate lack of funding.

The cards played have worked.
Divide and conquer.

SanityClause Sat 03-Sep-16 09:19:45

This is quite a tricky area, though. If someone injures themselves running, do we treat them, because you know, they did bring it on themselves. And what about in a car crash - car travel is quite a risky form of transport, after all.

I understand that there may be risks in operating on obese people that do not exist in people of a healthy weight. Doctors should be making these decisions, though, on a case by case basis, rather than a blanket policy. (My grandmother was not allowed by her GP to have a hip replacement, in the 1980s, until she had lost a few stone. This was in Australia, so not an NHS decision. She lost the weight, and had the life-changing operation.)

AnUtterIdiot Sat 03-Sep-16 09:20:03

I was fighting fit with a BMI of 30, so that's a bit worrying. Worked out 2 hours a day 5 days a week. I don't have a problem with telling someone of 20 stone that there's no point in them having a knee replacement (I'm 20 stone myself) but BMI is a very blunt tool for judging health when you're talking about someone with a BMI of 30 who does a massive amount of exercise versus someone with a BMI of 22 who drinks heavily and doesn't put themselves out to exercise.

MrsJayy Sat 03-Sep-16 09:20:46

I can see why they want people to loose weight for a joint op makes sense to as extra weight puts pressure on the new joint I know it's not easy if someone is immobile to lose weight so Its a viscous circle also anaesthetic can be dangerous for overweight people.

AnUtterIdiot Sat 03-Sep-16 09:21:24

They're not talking about refusing life saving operations. But yes, I did wonder when I read this if they're going to be refusing to set broken arms and legs for rock climbers and equestrians!

AnUtterIdiot Sat 03-Sep-16 09:22:19

If they think they're making bad choices about offering operations to people that are unlikely to help them, that's fair enough, but surely the answer is to improve case by case decision making, not just announce that FAT PEOPLE ARE TO BE PUNISHED FOR THEIR FATTITUDE.

FRETGNIKCUF Sat 03-Sep-16 09:22:30

Poverty is a great aid to obesity. Cheap food is shite, I know i know that healthy food can be cheap but if you're brought up on a diet of salt and sugar pulses taste vile.

So it's about time we looked at the root and not blamed the results.

My kids do PE at their state schools once a week, my nephew does it three times at his private school.

ToxicLadybird Sat 03-Sep-16 09:24:51

Will they start charging for pregnancy care and childbirth. That's definitely self inflicted. Why should we all have to pay for someone else's choice to procreate?

PassiveAgressiveQueen Sat 03-Sep-16 09:25:43

In theory i agree, but if i fall off a horse and refuse to stop horse riding is that self inflicted?

friendlyfoxes Sat 03-Sep-16 09:25:51

I agree with that fret but a lot is already down to try and intervene and support people making healthy choices but mostly these aren't successful

Sirzy Sat 03-Sep-16 09:27:26

Where do we draw the line?

"Sorry you were speeding when you crashed so we can't help you"

"Sorry you were taking part in an extreme sport when you injured yourself so we can't help you"

Could go on and on.

What we need is more support to help people tackle weight issues.

If medically weight needs to be lost to help a procedure work then help the person. Give them support, help explore the reasons. Don't judge and make them feel worse.

PhilomenaFlump Sat 03-Sep-16 09:27:26

I can see the logic in not operating on a individual for whom the outcome is unlikely to be a success but the patient should be offered help. If obesity is the issue then guidance from a nutritionist/psychologist/endocrinologist etc should be offered. The patient still has a need that clearly they can't manage on their own. Simply cutting them loose isn't going to save money or solve the problem.

MoosLikeJagger Sat 03-Sep-16 09:27:40

Aren't obese people at much greater risk of dying/complications during surgery?

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