Saturday, 31 July 2010

Hospital Smoking Bans

Hospitals are a battleground for smokers and the health lobby. The health lobby wants hospitals to show the way, lead by example and under no circumstances be seen to be endorse smoking. On the other hand patients, and their visitors, are in a difficult place in their lives, sometimes in crisis or grief.

Hospitals in Scotland still have facilities for smokers in mental health facilities. We understand the Scottish Government supports a phased removal of these facilities, but it is not clear when they will advance further along this route.

There will be more news about hospitals very soon. In the mean time the concerns of Richard Thomson in this article about a ban on psychiatric wards in Dunedin, NZ, ring very true:
Mr Thomson said the ban was akin to forced treatment for psychiatric patients who were not entitled to leave hospital grounds.
'Akin to' forced treatment? It is forced treatment. It can't be ethical to enforce a non-smoking policy on a member of the public who is being treated for an unrelated condition. Apart from anything else a psychiatric patient is a captive market for 'approved' nicotine delivery. The policy is likely to deter many smokers from volunteering for treatment when they are most in need.


Unknown said...

Excellent piece Belinda. I have first hand knowledge of [private] care homes and I recently caused a stir by jokingly asking if the (walled) garden area was the smoking area. Well the staff all sung in unison that it was not, albeit in a jokey fashion. This is a secure private home and I was visiting my Bro in Law who is a lifelong non smoker so smoking is not a problem with him but I do not know how many smokers their may be amongst the 'inmates.'

The other day we went to visit him and, it being a lovely very warm day I had to go out to the walled garden area to get some respite from the heat...and what did I see? A plant pot full of stubbed out cigarettes and empty cartons? Who has availed themselves of smoking outside in the garden area? I'll bet, a pound to a penny, that it's the staff. If there are some smokers in there and they can't avail themselves of their want for a tobacco product then this is mental torture, pure and simple.

I will now investigate how many smokers are inmates and how many are staff.

You just cannot treat the most vulnerable people in society like this!

Cracking rebuff in The Press & Journal btw. We need movements like yours to right wrongs and fight these iniquities by the righteous and so called 'moral majority.'

John Watson said...

This was posted on a forum:

"Smokers are the MOST SELFISH people ever.

They want to smoke, though they KNOW it irritates non-smokers.

These are the same men that grab girls' butts knowing it annoys them. Why? Cause they will hurt ANYONE if it makes them feel good.

It's time we started abusing smokers physically. Give them some of their own medicine. Heck, it would make me feel good, which is the only justification a smoker ever needed to hurt people.
- Peter Payne, London, UK, 30/7/2010 19:42"

Since when has it been part of the duties of the NHS and its trustees to incite violence? Are they any different to the Brownshirts or the SS of Nazi Germany?
Who granted you the right to produce policies that generate this garbage?

The NHS is rapidly gaining a reputation as a non caring National socialist institution, run by Mengele wannabes and if the comments of at least one of the nursing community are to be believed Irma Griese's.

I believe that the overwhelming majority of the front line staff, the doctors, the nurses, the paramedics will find this policy abhorrent, after all they are decent caring people, if they were not, they would not do what they do.

It is morally and lawfully wrong to enforce laws and polices that incite violence.

It is morally and lawfully wrong to deny treatment or otherwise decide who lives or dies because of their lifestyle, Smokers pay for the treatment of three non smokers for each smoker treated.

It is morally and lawfully wrong to victimise, stigmatise or otherwise denormalise any minority group, the Third Reich taught us that.

It is morally and lawfully wrong to physically or mentally abuse those in the care of the state, more so when they suffer mental illness or physical defect, for it is harder for them to defend themselves, it is the duty of every decent human being to protect those who cannot protect themselves from state sponsered or individual bullying.

Here today we have a caring trust condoning, even encouraging the philosophy of the Nazis at public expense.

Here today we at least one citizen embracing Nazi theology, if they differ from us beat them up, kill them, 50 million dead in World War Two because of people like him, It is an insult of the worst kind that those who survived that war to today have to witness Nazism all over again in this of all countries!

In two weeks it is the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, when the "Few" are honoured for keeping the above mentality away from our shores, those very few remaining old men lost friends, suffered horrifying injuries physical and mental, they did so in part to defend freedom of lifestyle, which the new Nazis of tobacco control seek to deny us all, those who are happy to see these old men outside in the cold like stray dogs, those like the specimin of the 'master race' quoted at the opening of this comment would see them beaten and abused.

I say to you enough is enough these Nazis should be found, they should be tried for their crimes in a court of law, for their incitement to violence, their discrimination, their theft of our freedoms. Never again should any charity or public trust be involved in politics.

Just as it is true that "Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few" the expression that "Never in the field of human society have so many been made so miserable by so few" holds equal place.

Belinda said...

Peter Payne ... London. Has any London police force expressed any interest in stamping down on hate crime?

I saw that John, it was a DM comment but I can't remember what the story was.

Belinda said...

Found it: