Should smokers be refused surgery?

Last year a primary care trust announced it would take smokers off waiting lists for surgery in an attempt to contain costs. In this week's BMJ, two experts go head to head over whether smokers should be refused surgery.

Denying operations is justified for specific conditions, argues Professor Matthew Peters from the Concord Repatriation General Hospital in Australia.

Professor Peters says that smoking up to the time of any surgery increases cardiac and pulmonary complications, impairs tissue healing, and is associated with more infections.

These effects increase the costs of care and also mean less opportunity to treat other patients, he writes. In healthcare systems with finite resources, preferring non-smokers over smokers for a limited number of procedures will therefore deliver greater clinical benefit to individuals and the community.

He believes that, as long as everything is done to help patients to stop smoking, it is both responsible and ethical to implement a policy that those unwilling or unable to stop should have low priority for, or be excluded from, certain elective procedures.

But Professor Leonard Glantz from Boston University School of Public Health believes it is unacceptable discrimination. "It is astounding that doctors would question whether they should treat smokers," he says.

"Doctors should certainly inform patients that they might reduce their risks of post-surgical complications if they stop smoking before the procedure. But should the price of not following the doctor's advice be the denial of beneficial surgery?"

Cost arguments are made to support the discriminatory non-treatment of smokers. But why focus our cost saving concerns on smokers? Patients are not required to visit fitness clubs, lose 25 pounds, or take drugs to lower blood pressure before surgery. And many non-smokers cost society large sums of money in health care because of activities they choose to t

Contact: Catherine Binnie
BMJ-British Medical Journal

Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Should adult male circumcision be recommended for HIV prevention in the US?
2. Shoulder tapping -- Young males are most willing to purchase alcohol for underage youth
3. Should NICE evaluate complementary medicine?
4. Should Muslims have faith-based health services?
5. Should patients undergoing surgery get ASA?
6. Should patients have to opt out of electronic records?
7. Assisted dying: Should it be legal?
8. Should older men be screened for prostate cancer?
9. Should we screen people for depression?
10. Should we ban consumer drug ads? - Press release from PLoS Medicine
11. Should heart attack care be more like trauma care? Study suggests regional system could be feasible

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer ... one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. ... descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the ... Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of ... Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his ... veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As ... serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The ... demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, ... to meet the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, ... formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics ... new brand, which included the unveiling of new signage ... , as well as at a few other company-owned ... new brand to patients, some of whom will begin ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile app ... struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. The ... their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage in a ... launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people to sign ... at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience ... the use of wearable and home sensors for real-time ... Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive ... provide an affordable analytical system to record and integrate ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: