NHS Meltdown: Doctors Withhold Information on Treatments from Patients
August 25, 2008
So now some UK doctors are withholding information from patients about possible cancer treatments due to NHS funding polices. From the story:
Cancer patients are being denied information about treatments that could help them live longer by their own doctors, a new survey has disclosed. A quarter of specialists in myeloma, a bone marrow cancer that claims 2,600 lives in the UK each year, admitted keeping their patients in the dark about possible therapies.
They believed it was better not to talk about certain treatments not yet approved by the health service’s rationing watchdog to avoid raising false hope. Primary care trusts are generally reluctant to pay for drugs not already passed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).
NICE is the Orwellian-named utilitarian bioethics “advisory” board that continues to push policies that promote utilitarianism at the expense of Hippocratic values.
This is what happens when rationing convinces doctors to assume a “dual mandate,” that is to both treat patients and to adhere to funding policies. It destroys their ability to provide optimal care and it destroys trust of patients in their doctors.
The right thing to do is to tell the patient about the treatments. That is their job. If the NHS won’t pay for it, the patient might be able to find out other means of obtaining the care. Keeping patients in ignorance is inexcusable.