Docs refuse to fix smokers broken ankle
#1
Here it is again folks. How soon will it be the "overweight" and the drinkers, the one's with "too many kids"?

Link to story
A man with a broken ankle is facing a lifetime of pain because a Health Service hospital has refused to treat him unless he gives up smoking.
John Nuttall, 57, needs surgery to set the ankle which he broke in three places two years ago because it did not mend naturally with a plaster cast.
Doctors at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro have refused to operate because they say his heavy smoking would reduce the chance of healing, and there is a risk of complications which could lead to amputation.

They have told him they will treat him only if he gives up smoking. But the former builder has been unable to break his habit and is now resigned to coping with the injury as he cannot afford private treatment.
He is in constant pain from the grating of the broken bones against each other and has been prescribed daily doses of morphine.
Mr Nuttall, of Newlyn, Cornwall, broke the ankle in a fall in 2005. Initially he refused surgery because he had caught MRSA at a different hospital four years earlier, and was terrified of history repeating itself.
He hoped the fractured bones would knit together with a standard plaster cast to immobilise his ankle.
But six months and three plaster casts later, it became clear that an operation to pin the bones was the only solution.

However, the hospital told Mr Nuttall, who no longer works because of smoking-related chest problems, that he would have to give up smoking before an operation could be carried out.
Mr Nuttall said: '"I am in agony. I have begged them to operate but they won't. I have tried my hardestto give up smoking but I can't. I got down to ten a week at one point but they said that was not good enough.
"I spent 12 months trying to give up and used patches and everything, but nothing works.
"I have smoked for over 40 years and it's not going to happen.
"We were brought up at a time when cigarette advertisements were everywhere and there were no warnings.
"I want to warn other smokers that they could be denied medical treatment and there is nothing we can do about it.
"I have paid my dues as a taxpayer-and now the NHS won't treat me."
Mr Nuttall, who is single, uses a walking stick to get around and fears his bones will now be so 'calcified' that an operation would not work even if he were allowed to have it.
"It is very painful," he said. "If I walk more than a few steps I can feel it grinding."
A spokesman for the hospital trust said: "Smoking has a very big influence on the outcome of this type of surgery, and the healing process would be hindered significantly."



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#2
More shades of George Orwell. People need to wake up and realize how quickly we're losing our basic freedoms in this country.
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#3
finegan Wrote:More shades of George Orwell. People need to wake up and realize how quickly we're losing our basic freedoms in this country.
This is in the UK, but it's a foretaste of what can happen here if we socialize medicine.  Some American insurance companies are trying this with smokers and overweight people, but so far, lawyers have kept them pretty much in line.
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#4
finegan Wrote:More shades of George Orwell. People need to wake up and realize how quickly we're losing our basic freedoms in this country.

The doctor should treat the man, but OTOH, I have a hard time sympathizing with the man. The man also has total free will to quit smoking. When I read the story, it made me think of a penitent who complains to the media that a priest denied him absolution in the confessional because he couldn't give up fornicating. Sin is addictive, but as any priest would say, you still have free will. No one can "force" you to sin, and even if it causes you to suffer from withdrawal, that's a cross for you to bear.
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#5
The problem with your comparison is that smoking isn't a sin.
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#6
It is shocking that the man is denied a necessary surgery because of his smoking.  The fact that he cut down to 10 cigarettes a week is significant---even heart and lung doctors I've worked with in local hospitals (I'm a RN) consider that a vast improvement. 

That said, if the man is disabled due to lung disease, then surgery could be a major risk due to problems with deep anesthesia and the fact that pneumonia is a possibility for anyone after surgery.  The fact of his MRSA infection may also be a part of the refusal---is he fully recovered?  (I truly don't like working in hospitals and am relieved to have recently got a teaching job where I don't have to take my nurse assistant students to practice in the hospitals.)

Being a smoker (I won't tell my doctor that from now on!), I am sympathetic with him, but there may be other considerations that make the MDs nervous to operate.  I've seen that happen, too, where there are so many risks involved that failure may well be guaranteed.  Still, it seems that he should be informed of the risks and then be able to decide for himself if he wants the surgery.  It gives us a picture of 'things to come' here in the 'new world'.
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#7
QuisUtDeus Wrote:The problem with your comparison is that smoking isn't a sin.


True, it's not a sin in the religious sense. But the smoking is detrimental to the man's health and healing process, and the doctor, being a medical professional, has the right to proscribe smoking as a medical "sin". When a doctor tells him to quit smoking or else he won't heal properly, it's his own fault if he prefers to smoke rather than heal. Finegan mentioned a "loss of freedoms", but the man hasn't lost anything. He could be treated if he wants to, but he chooses out of his free will to continue smoking. It doesn't matter if he grew up his whole life without the surgeon general's labels. Hence, it's like a priest who says that you can't receive forgiveness unless you repent. The priest doesn't care if you grew up in a brothel, you're still going to hell anyway unless you repent. And back to the man in question, he's going to have serious health problems anyway unless he stops smoking.
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#8
I'm not in favor of denying medical care to anyone, including the man in question. Everyone needs to be shown compassion, and I'm not so sure that there is any direct connection, medically speaking, and I've had a lot of medical training, between his smoking and the operation/ailment in question.

However, I honestly and sincerely believe, and I know priests that agree with me on this, that chronic smoking is a sin against the Fifth Commandment. It is literally one of the most destructive activities that a person can engage in, causing immense and permanent damage to the human body. If God gave us our bodies, He expects us to care for them in the best way possible. And, I firmly believe that if we knowingly engage in activities that are that destructive to them, it can't be anything but sinful.

I had two friends, both of them Traditional Catholics, that completely destroyed their health by smoking. One died at the very young age of 41-the other at the age of 62. These men would have lived many more years, if not for the horrible vice that literally destroyed thier lives.

The Traditional Liturgy is full of prayers that ask God to free us from the bonds of our vices. A vice is a vice, regardless of what package it comes in. And smoking is one of the most destructive to the health of our bodies, and costs a large amount of money, money that could be better spent on food and other necessities that are healthy for us.
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#9
mikeh Wrote:I'm not in favor of denying medical care to anyone, including the man in question. Everyone needs to be shown compassion, and I'm not so sure that there is any direct connection, medically speaking, and I've had a lot of medical training, between his smoking and the operation/ailment in question.

However, I honestly and sincerely believe, and I know priests that agree with me on this, that chronic smoking is a sin against the Fifth Commandment. It is literally one of the most destructive activities that a person can engage in, causing immense and permanent damage to the human body. If God gave us our bodies, He expects us to care for them in the best way possible. And, I firmly believe that if we knowingly engage in activities that are that destructive to them, it can't be anything but sinful.

I had two friends, both of them Traditional Catholics, that completely destroyed their health by smoking. One died at the very young age of 41-the other at the age of 62. These men would have lived many more years, if not for the horrible vice that literally destroyed thier lives.

The Traditional Liturgy is full of prayers that ask God to free us from the bonds of our vices. A vice is a vice, regardless of what package it comes in. And smoking is one of the most destructive to the health of our bodies, and costs a large amount of money, money that could be better spent on food and other necessities that are healthy for us.

I like this response a lot.

To clarify, I don't have a problem with people who smoke and I think the doctor should have helped; but looking at my father, whose health is completely ravaged by tobacco, there's clearly a line that's got to be drawn somewhere. Also, I don't understand those trads who light up all day long or vigorously defend smoking while also being adamant against other potential vices like TV, video games or rock music.
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#10
...how dare doctors penalise anybody on any charge. Their duty is to serve those in need, no matter what they consider detrimental to an individual's health. Scary to think that one man can have that much power over another's well being.
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