Saturday, 14 January 2012

Disgust of retired doctor with degradation heaped on smokers

The doctor uses the word 'horrified' rather than disgusted. He was clearly trained to believe that health care involves compassion as well as choice management.
I have looked in dismay at the degradation heaped on smokers in our hospitals in recent years. Forced to huddle under an outdoor lean-to roof for a drag on a desperately needed cigarette, often with intravenous drips in their arms and frequently wearing only pyjamas and a dressing gown on a cold, wet day, now even this solace is to be denied to them.
What more need one say?
Lepers in the dark ages received greater care and more love than our enlightened age allows to the poor, old, ill smoker.
Many anti-smokers cite the mortality and early death of friends and relatives from a smoking-related cause as the source of their hostility to smoking. This begs the question, why should it make them happier to put smokers – who share the same habit as their loved ones – to such discomfort. Would they have enjoyed putting their own beloved grandmother, uncle or neighbour outside in pyjamas on a drip? Would they have considered such an action beneficial to that person's health? If not, what makes it right that strangers should be treated in that way?

As far as the health service is concerned, condemning people who are infirm to smoking outdoors or denying them any opportunities to smoke on the hospital premises is breathtakingly callous. As the good doctor says, 'After all, even smokers are still our sisters and brothers.' 

And isn't it novel these days to recommend that people who are sick should be treated with 'care and love': 'Its deliberate deprivation [the smoking ban] ]is an act of wanton, indeed wicked cruelty at a time when he or she is most in need of cherishing and comforting.' 

A doctor with principles. 


Dick Puddlecote said...

"If not, what makes it right that strangers should be treated in that way?"

Extremely good point Belinda. Never thought of it in that way before.

Bill Gibson said...

Chris Carter will raise this issue again on Monday when he appears in the High Courts, Belfast on Appeal for leave to take his case to the Supreme Courts. He has on a previoos hearing raised the issues of cruelty with regard to Hospital Smoking Bans and the disregard for patient dignity, but the Judiciary dismissed his claims, this time round it will be different ... for many reasons one of which is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948 Article 1

Anonymous said...

and what about anthony mcdermoot who was persecuted bullied and abused by his workmates at mettler-toledo safeline salford because he was a smoker and commited suicide by hanging who is accountable