Obesity is a medically and scientifically complicated topic that is even further complicated by the public’s lack of medical and scientific knowledge. And you triple-down on the complexity once you figure in social factors such as body image standards, and shame. Obesity is as undeniably bad for you as the Earth is round, but that doesn’t stop a large segment of the population from denying either.
Smoking, on the other hand, is pretty damn cut-and-dried that it’s bad for you–at least since the 1960’s.
The UK’s National Health Service recently made the decision to ban non-urgent surgeries for the obese and smokers that do not voluntarily change their risky behaviors. The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) states that obese patients “will not get non-urgent surgery until they reduce their weight” at all, except in “exceptional circumstances”.
Non-urgent surgeries include hip and knee replacement and hernia repairs. The move is expected to save £68m in the current fiscal year, and free up resources for less high-risk patients using the system.
The decision is rousing significant opposition from both patients and physicians. While the primary criticisms center around skepticism for the suggested cost savings and fears of a “two tier health system”, some comments on the fringe attempt to link the move to “Eugenics”. Critics of Socialized Medicine have also weighed in pointing to this as an example of government overreach.
NFW = “No Fucking Way”