Wednesday 16 April 2014

If Breaking Bad was really set in Britain

Since the last season of Breaking Bad was broadcast, there's been an amusing cartoon doing the rounds suggesting that the concept wouldn't have worked in any country other than the US.

Although I hate to tarnish American liberals' rose-tinted view of socialised medicine, I would suggest that the conversation in Britain would go more like this:

"I'm afraid you have incurable lung cancer."

"Can you give me any drugs to prolong my life?"

"I'm afraid not. The NHS can't afford them. Lung cancer patients, in particular, are a low priority."

"Can I pay the NHS to give me these drugs?"

"I'm afraid not. That would be illegal. You can obtain them if you have private health care. Do you have private health care?"

"No. I can't afford it. A large part of my lifetime income has been spent on tax and national insurance to provide me with cradle-to-grave health care. I guess I'll have to start making crystal meth."

"There isn't enough latent demand for crystal meth in the UK to make it worthwhile."

"Damn it."

"You're going to die. There's a 70 per cent chance you'll be dead within a year. Unlike the US, which has the highest cancer survival rates in the world, rates in Britain are very low, particularly for lung cancer."

"Aw, man."

"It serves you right for smoking."

"I don't smoke."



Dr Evil said...

I think your version is much more realistic. The cartoon is very much applicable to France and Germany though.

jredheadgirl said...

How under-funded is lung cancer research?

"The second reason why lung cancer is such a killer is that funds spent on research are a fraction of what they are for other cancers."

The scenario is the same here in the U.S. unfortunately. The Lung Cancer Alliance published a study on this a couple of years ago.

It's prejudice, plain and simple...and criminal considering all of the taxes that a smoker pays over the course of a lifetime to support programs for other people.

Anonymous said...

Not as much fluffy PR to be had from lun h cancer for CRUK so they ignore it.

Gedly said...

Ged Hessionposted to‎Sandy Starr

16 hours ago near Manchester · Edited

I've always admired the Brazilians for their AIDS program. Part of the program was to provide HIV positive patients with free ARV medication. This was possible by the Brazilian government using its own state owned facilities to produce generic copies of a US patented ARV drug. The owners of the patent went to the WTO to block the Brazilian government's generic production of the drug but the WTO ruled in the Brazilian government's favour , citing that any WTO member state can produce anything in an emergency situation. Hooray for the WTO! (I believe in the end that the patent holders, Abotts, agreed to supply the drug at the Brazilian's production cost).

Bill Sinclair said...

1) The research re: cancer survival rates you quote do not mention, let alone give figures for LUNG cancer — the subject of your argument.
2) The data is more than 6 years old FFS.
3) It could be argued that cancer surivival rates in the US were (because they are more than 5 years old) as high as cited because the PREVALENCE of cancer is higher in the USA. Socialised health systems are much more effective at PREVENTATIVE medicine than the US system.
4) IT IS well established through drawiing on all data the U.S. medical system consistently underperforms in terms of life expectancy (3 YEARS less than Spain, for example) and, given that US medicals are the highest paid in the world, represent the worst return on investment in terms of health outcomes.
5) Anyone in the UK can opt for private medical treatment if they want it and can afford it.
6) You do medical and heathcare professionals across the world a disservice by mouthing off before a) checking your data and its sources and, b) talking to anyone who works in healthcare and medical research. You could at least refer to WHO data before mouthing off.
6) To post such shit while quoting Orwell, random or not, on your page marks you as a doublespeaker. You should be ashamed.

Orwell's wife, Eileen, died, months before the introduction of the NHS, in part because they, (the Orwells) could not afford treatment in London and so sought treatment in Newcastle upon Tyne. She is buried in Jesmond cemetery.

Henry North London 2.0 said...

Everyone here should realise that the way to cure incurable lung cancer or any other cancer exists in the simple plant named a Gift from God also known as Marijuana, or Cannabis Indica to give it its Latin name.

QED so Breaking Bad in Britain would be about making cannabis bud oil to make the NHS feel weird about all these cancer sufferers suddenly going in to remission and clearing out the cancer wards permanently. There. Thats a good story and even better it could be a true story.