The Tough Titty Brigade

Occasionally, just occasionally I wonder* about ‘some’ people. Quite what thoughts go through their head. Today I am calling ‘some’ people the Tough Titty Brigade. They are the people who consider the recipients of PIP implants, with their vanity and money to spend on private surgery, undeserving of sympathy or support. Not on ‘our’ NHS they cry.

The choice to have breast implants may be one of vanity but equally it may not. There are many women who undergo surgery for corrective reasons, reconstruction after illness or for the sake of their sanity. Some may simply choose, for entirely their own reasons, to have breast implants. That is their choice and I don’t think it’s necessary to delve into the reasons behind the choice or how they came to have the money to afford the surgery. What none of these women would have done is consent to having implants containing cheap industrial silicone.

I have been told, and read, a fair few views today on whether the NHS should be asked to rectify the problem that may affect 40 to 50,000 women in the UK. Overwhelmingly, the view has been that if they could afford private treatment then they, not the NHS should be made to pay if they exercise the choice to have the implants removed. This is, apparently, because they have chosen to have the surgery in the first place.

And this is where the ‘not on the NHS argument’ starts to fall down. What about all of the people who chose to smoke, who intentionally pay money to poison their bodies or diabetics who drink and eat what they like. Or, heaven forbid fat people who won’t diet and exercise. Should the NHS refuse to assist when an individual’s behaviour creates risk and potential cost to society? How about those who take part in dangerous sports, who pay money for the opportunity? Should they be excluded if their expensive hobby ends up breaking their bones?

Because once you start judging the value of the choices that people make and their ‘right’ to access NHS services the line isn’t easily defined. Statistics seem to suggest that the risk of rupture is low, maybe 1%, but the consequences of rupture are not insignificant and will have an inevitable cost.

So ‘some people’ have some compassion. We all make choices some of which cost others and some do not. These women have been the victim of a fraud, a fraud with the potential of health consequences. In the meantime, if your plumber fixes your central heating system with dodgy parts or your car is repaired with second-hand parts from a scrapyard without your knowledge don’t whine. It’s ‘just’ product liability and you chose the ‘expert’ and paid your monies….

*actually I wonder a lot

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