Should Smokers and the Obese be Denied Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery – No

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"Should Smokers and the Obese be Denied Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery - No"
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If smokers and the obese are denied coronary artery bypass or other medical procedures where will this type of discriminatory screening end? Smoking and overeating are not the only life-style habits that people adopt that are potentially dangerous.

There are those who participate in dangerous sports and are injured, sometimes quite seriously so that they require surgery. Where is the distinction between someone smoking or eating too much because they enjoy it and someone who willingly does something perhaps unwise and dangerous for a similar reason, because they enjoy it?

People can become ill from living in heavily polluted areas. Many of them have the option to move to cleaner areas because they are financially able to do this and yet they choose to remain in a place where they continually breathe in dangerous toxins (which is similar to smoking). Should they be excluded from medical treatments because they choose not to move so become sick?

Consider those who require surgical procedures because they have been damaged due to their chosen careers. The list of conditions that people contract at work is probably extensive. It could be argued that they could have researched the possible dangers of their career before they took that route. We live in a dangerous world and there are numerous ways people get sick when they could perhaps have avoided it.

Perhaps risky sports, areas people choose to live in and careers are not considered to be as much unwise choices as smoking or allowing oneself to become obese but the question of addictive behaviour being a medical condition in itself must be addressed.

Sports might possibly be addictive for certain people but careers and areas of habitation are not. Smoking and overeating most certainly are and this ought to be a factor in deciding whether someone who does these things is utterly to blame for their resulting health conditions.

Most of those who currently require coronary artery bypass through smoking will have smoked for many years and be over a certain age. When they started smoking it was not as widely known that smoking is dangerous for the health. In fact only thirty years ago cigarette packets didn't contain health warnings, governments and medical professions didn't campaign about the dangers of smoking and almost everyone's parents smoked.

To add to this cigarette manufacturers add chemicals to tobacco that causes it to be more addictive than tobacco alone. In other words their aim is for people to be addicted to smoking for life and our governments allow this unethical and dangerous behaviour. People are killed by tobacco!

How can the same governments, who not only condone addictive chemicals being added to a life threatening substance and who profit financially from its sale, then deny taxpayers necessary life saving medical treatment after their using it?

Concerning obesity, governments are also somewhat to blame for this! They allow food manufacturers to add addictive substances to processed foods in order for sales to be maximised. The substances in question are sugar and flavourings. Sugar is one of the most addictive substances on earth. It's mood altering and effects one psychologically, in that there is a sugar high when it's eaten.

Unlike starchy foods that are slow releasing, the sugar content drops rapidly causing the mood to plummet. In order to get the high back more sugar must be consumed, which isn't difficult because it's contained in almost all processed foods. Artificial flavourings cause the food to be tasty, meaning more foods containing them are eaten, instead of healthier options.

Governments are not behaving responsibly by allowing these types of life threatening practises by cigarette and food manufacturers. I suggest that people who smoke or are obese are given the medical attention that they require, regardless of whether there might be a lower success rate following procedures such as coronary artery bypass, because human rights dictate that they deserve as much of a chance of life as anyone else. There's no reason to assume that they don't contribute as much to society as others so they ought to be equally valued.

A measure I suggest following coronary artery bypass or other surgery is to address the patients smoking or obesity issues to give them a better chance at survival and to ensure that they don't return for further surgery. After all, the governments that have allowed, condoned and profited financially from the cause of the health conditions owe them that much at least!

More about this author: Georgia Stewart

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