Thursday 11 April 2013

The misinformed fantasies of ignorant people

No comment required...

There is an irrefutable case to be made for requiring people to be vaccinated against diseases that threaten public health. Whether a democratic society would ever allow individuals to be held down against their will and have a needle stuck in them is questionable. But social and economic sanctions, like those applied in the United States could be introduced – benefits might be affected, choice of school or employment might be restricted. Society simply should not be prepared to indulge the misinformed fantasies of ignorant people.

Unfortunately, while UK and Scottish Government policies are clearly prepared to push the promotion of healthy lifestyle policies to the limit, the National Health Service – which administers many of these policies – does not always set the best example. The sight of a grossly overweight nurse fills me with disgust. However, for many overweight patients, she may serve as a comfort and a validation of their own bad diet. Workers across the health services should be required to be non-smokers and with an acceptable BMI. If necessary, legislation should be introduced to allow contracts of employment to be so written.

The long-term answer is education. But how long to educate a public eager to follow any scare story it comes across on the internet and unwilling to accept establishment advice based on good science? Fluoridation of the water supply triggered the same kind of hysterical opposition when the only effect it has – verified over decades – is to reduce caries in the mouths of the most deprived of our children.

That example should haves served as a warning that the public cannot distinguish between good science and bad research, cannot evaluate risk. They must sacrifice some of their civil rights for their own good and that of the community. They must also be protected from those companies which want to kill them for profit.

From The Scotsman.


Jonathan Bagley said...

"They must sacrifice some of their civil rights for their own good and that of the community."

"Philosophy of government that stresses the primacy and glory of the state, unquestioning obedience to its leader, subordination of the individual will to the state's authority, and harsh suppression of dissent."

Unknown said...

"The sight of a grossly overweight nurse fills me with disgust"
I rather an overweight nurse who does her job compassionately, and with empathy, feeds the old who cannot feed themselves on the wards, knows how to treat patients with respect and not let them linger in their own faeces, than a stick thin nurse who ignores the patient and shows no compassion.
I do not say that the overweight are better or worse at compassion than the thin but I rather that the qualifications of the job are the ability to DO THE JOB, not how much food they eat or exercise they take or illness they have or emotional turmoil is in their lives that turns them to food as comfort.
Doing the job compassionately should be the first fix of the NHS.

nisakiman said...

Yes, one of those breathtakingly arrogant articles. I just find the thought running on a loop through my mind: "Who the fuck do you think you are? Who the fuck do you think you are?", every time I read one of those appeals to extreme authoritarianism (usually delivered by a right-on 'freedom loving liberal socialist').

Unknown said...

Good Lord, you gave me a start! I've had two days of looking after a two-year-old with chicken pox and I'm finished. So when I read this in the first quiet moment, I thought you must have taken leave of your senses. I'm so relieved to find it is someone else who has taken leave of their senses! Do you think they KNOW? Or do they presume they are normal?

Junican said...

The effrontery of the guy is beyond comprehension.
Essentially, what he is saying is that people do not know when they are seeing the result of junk science, and so it is OK to feed them more junk science to further the confusion in their minds and then solve their problems by dictat.

He may be right. It would certainly seem so in view of the number of people who have swallowed the SHS scare-mongering. But the reason that they have swallowed it is because of the propaganda, and not because of the science. They do not know the science - all they know is newspaper and TV headlines and almost 'subliminal' suggestion, repeated 'ad inf'.

He has a cheek to claim that people need to be pushed and shoved because they have been led by junk science when the organisation for which he speaks is becoming notorious for using the same methods.

Anonymous said...

Christ... I don't even know where to begin with this authoritarian fuckwit.

So I won't as I don't want to fill your superb blog with lots of sweary ranting.