Wednesday 16 January 2008

'No U-turn' in cancer woman row

'No U-turn' in cancer woman row

"... oath of Hippocrates. But immigration law... "


Anonymous said...

Is deporting a sick person whose visa has expired more morally wrong than simply not inviting every sick person in the world in for treatment? If the doctors care so much about the Hippocratic Oath, why are they not following the woman back to her own country to continue caring for her without payment?

Anonymous said...

It's a horrible situation in any case. Many a brit feels like they're second rate in their own country due to immigration, including most of the people where I live here in Dagenham, Essex. (Who have rocked the nation as being a BNP specific area... Ugh)
It's horrible news, especially as we already have NHS tourists. We now make them pay for treatment (if we ever find them)

This woman's plight is an awful one, but she is still one of many people suffering, many struggling for treatment as UK citizens. I'm glad she will be treated in her homeland.

A point that has come clear from this, for me at least, is we brits should take some degree of pride in the NHS looking after us through our taxes, and not having to rely on insurance like countries like America, where it's business and people get paid to refuse insurance payouts.

Even if it is a decrepid state, it's better than what most countries have.

Mark Van den Borre said...

Should we even look at this case in terms of more or less morally wrong?

If one needs urgent medical care, on needs it.

How to call a place with no room for treatment for a dying member of its own cheap labour force? Civilised?

AAM said...

Similar case in NZ in 1997, where a Rau Williams (think I have the right name) in Whangarei was denied renal dialysis - a NZ citizen in NZ. He didn't meet the criteria for renal dialysis contracts.

Medically the estimate was that his condition would not benefit from dialysis. Certainly it did not benefit from lack of dialysis because he died.

UK has exported sick visa holders for a long time - "you've got cancer, now we have held the plane and will wait for you to pack your bags"...

Anonymous said...

That's why this made the news - she's not part of the british cheap labour force. She shouldn't have even been in the country.

The British pay a fee to fund the national health service, she didn't (she was hiding and avioding the system til she needed it). Why are you expecting her to get treatment in the UK when she's not there legally and had no insurance to cover herself?

Why dont you lobby for Belguim to bring her in and treat her?
Why doesn't America drop its concept of medical insurance?

A line has to be drawn else Britain would put out the message "Free medical treatment if you can sneak into the country".

Free medical treatment. Admit it, you'd risk it too if you knew the odds were good.

Mark Van den Borre said...

In reply to an anonymous commenter:

"Why are you expecting her to get treatment in the UK when she's not there legally and had no insurance to cover herself?"

My starting premise differs from yours. For me, no matter a human's financial, intellectual or legal status, the guiding principle for a civilised country should be that if one's in need for urgent medical treatment, one receives it.

Of course, principle and feasible reality are entirely different beasts. Your justified fear of avoiding the "free medical treatment if you can sneak into the country" message is a good example of that, one that I wholeheartedly agree with.

Now back to this particular case:

"That's why this made the news - she's not part of the british cheap labour force. She shouldn't have even been in the country."

She was in the country illegally. No doubt about that. But just as clearly, she was part of the UK cheap labour force. Be it illegal or not, she had been working in the UK since 5 years. Imagine what jobs you can get with her legal status.

And she was receiving treatment for her terminal illness.

Back to my guiding principle. I can only speculate about the cost to the UK economy to provide health care to all its terminally ill workers. My guess is that this cost would be perfectly bearable.

As strange as it sounds, this might even provide less costly to the UK tax payer. Think of things like administrative simplification, and (somewhat controversial) the economically positive effects of attracting cheap labour.