Monday, February 06, 2006

Failing health MOTs

Government proposals for people to be given individual health MOTs echo Liberal Democrat policy. No doubt David Cameron's Conservatives will support them too.

But never forget the first law of politics. When people of good will in all parties are united behind a measure it almost always proves disastrous.

So, for a dissident voice, turn to Dr Michael Fitzpatrick on the Spiked website:

The new approach to health and illness marks a dramatic break with tradition - but not a progressive one. In the recent past, health was regarded as the normal state of affairs and illness was considered an exceptional departure from normality, a transient state through which the patient passed - with the blessing of medical authority (even if no great benefit accrued from medical intervention ) - before returning to good health and a familiar level of social functioning.

Now health has become a state that can only be attained through a high level of personal awareness and commitment to a prescribed lifestyle, through intense vigilance against health risks and through a willingness to submit to regular professional intervention in the cause of preventing disease (or at least of detecting it at an early stage).

1 comment:

Tristan said...

That does make one pause and wonder whether this is a good idea.
How long until the government starts prescribing particular lifestyles, backed up with tax breaks or threats (or worse)?
Certainly something I can see this government doing...

Going to the doctor for a general checkup to catch anything before it gets serious is simply good practice, but prescribed lifestyles are getting dangerously illiberal.