Saturday, 19 June 2010

Where there's blame there's a claim

Following on from yesterday's blog and how to save money in the NHS, you often hear about medical interventions that save lives or prolong life. I don't suppose it is rocket science to assume that if we are not dying from these complaints then we have to die from others. In fact if we are living longer then we are much more likely to live with chronic disease and put NHS bills up.

One example of an intervention that caused more morbidity is the safety belt legislation. When we could drive without a belt the chances were that we would die if we crashed. This is much less expensive than treating someone who lives but is injured. However I am not advocating that we lead a reckless life. If we didn't take risks then we wouldn't be alive, but our lives seem to be dominated by the need to eliminate risk. I heard a story a couple of days ago about a mature laburnum tree that had to be cut down because children played near it. Someone would be blamed if any child was poisoned by the tree. The trouble is that where there's blame there's a claim.

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