Denial of Health Services

The Daily Mail announces that in Britain,

Smokers are to be denied operations on the Health Service unless they give up cigarettes for at least four weeks beforehand.

Some worry that doctors will next require obese patients to lose 50lbs before surgery….. or an alcoholic to quit drinking for 4 weeks prior? How about homosexuals quitting their high risk behaviors or the drug addicts their dope before procedures?

It has already happened to me in the U.S. I met with my doctor on May 30th, to decide if and how we would treat my prostate cancer. To recap, my options are watch and wait, external radiation, internal seed radiation, or robotic surgery to remove the prostate. After research on the web, conversations with my wife and men who have been in similar circumstances, I have decided to have the thing cut out. Hopefully, there will be no incontinence or loss of sexual function.

My doc has performed many of these operations and is thought to be a specialist with the DaVinci robotic tools, but he said we have just one shot at this and I can make it safer by losing 20 to 30 pounds by July 10th, when I;m to have the procedure. I have not been denied the operation if I don’t lose weight, but I certainly am encouraged by the increased risks if I don’t. The difference lies in the words “have to” and “it’s suggested”.

So July 10th is the date and then eight days with a catheter and another six weeks with no heavy lifting or walking our big dog, Ralph. When he sees a squirrel, he can almost pull me over.

Prostate Cancer


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