CCG restricts treatment for smokers and obese patients...
4 December 2014, Pulse
GPs in one area of England will not be able to refer some patients for routine surgery unless they quit smoking or lose weight, it has been revealed.
Dr Nigel Watson, chair of Wessex LMCs, said that while people would likely have better outcomes if they stopped smoking or lost weight, to exclude people if they were not able to do so was unethical.
He said: ‘Just because someone has been harmed from something like smoking, I don’t think it is ethical not to treat them. There is good evidence that if you stop smoking for four weeks before surgery post-op healing and things like that are better and in our area we strongly encourage people to do that. But it is all about risk management - is the risk of this treatment greater than the benefits? - and at the end of the day I don’t think it’s ethical not to treat them. It should be judged on the individual case and [smoking and obesity] should factor in the risk assessment but not used as an exclusion criteria.’
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