Monday, June 2, 2008

National Healthcare Kills

One of the problems with government-run healthcare is that faceless, bureaucratic rulemakers prescribe courses of treatment instead of doctors in consultation with patients. If the bureaucracy decides that a drug isn't cost-effective, it simply will not be provided, no matter what the doctors or patients want. It's not about saving lives or easing suffering. It's about plotting life-expectancy graphs and rationing finite taxpayer-provided resources.
A grandmother died from cancer after her free NHS treatment was withdrawn because she had paid privately for a drug that could extend her life.

Linda O'Boyle, 64, had been receiving state-funded care including chemotherapy after she was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

But her local health trust made her pay for her treatment after she started a course of cetuximab, which is available on the NHS in Scotland but not in England and Wales.

Yea, yea, I can hear the arguments now about that girl that didn't get a liver transplant -- but here is the difference --

The company that denied that girl a liver suffered extremely bad PR that already led to them reevaluating their medical approval procedures. In addition the customers of that company currently have the right to switch to another carrier. That wasn't possible for the victim of the NHS bureaucracy and that unaccountability and loss of freedom of choice can mean the difference between life and death.


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