A Celebrated Dependency

Do you remember how the opening ceremony at the London Olympics included a creepy and bizarre homage to Great Britain’s socialized health care system? I got the heebie jeebies at the time. The following headline made the memory of that celebration feel even creepier:

AN NHS HOSPITAL HAS APOLOGISED TO 38 FAMILIES AFTER A PATIENT STARVED TO DEATH AND IT LEFT OTHER DYING PEOPLE SCREAMING IN PAIN

Alexandra Hospital in Redditch is writing to 38 families after a massive legal action that exposed years of bad practice, ranging from nurses taunting patients to leaving an elderly woman unwashed for 11 weeks.

In one of the worst cases, a man had starvation recorded as the cause of his death after being treated at the hospital for two months.

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said last night that he was “disgusted and appalled” by what the families had been through, and that the Government was acting to ensure that failings in care were detected more quickly.

Bereaved relatives had told how vulnerable patients were left to starve when trays were placed out of their reach, while others were left in soaking bedsheets.

It’s a perilous convalescence when Big Brother is your sickbed nurse. And it’s a sad day when a once-proud people declines to the point where weak-kneed dependency feels like the last best hope, or when the state dole inspires near religious gratitude from the people–a sad day indeed when the impoverishment of the soul becomes a cause for national celebration.

Did anyone else get the creeps during the Olympics NHS tribute?

  1. Foxman

    What got me was the depiction of the happy, care-free farmers who were then brought under subjugation by the greedy oligarchs during the industrial revolution.  Farming before the industrial revolution was back-breaking labor, the results of which had to be shared with the landlord.

  2. Instugator

    Brits are terribly proud of their healthcare system. Especially now that it has institutionalized euthanasia via the “Liverpool Pathway”.  Apparently the system is so wonderful that only half of the people on the pathway are told.  I guess you don’t need informed consent when the government is your nanny.

    That doesn’t count the disabled children they are killing as well.

  3. Karen

    We watched the Opening Ceremonies with my SIL, who lived in London for a few years and sings the praises of the NHS. Of course, she never had any serious medical issues when she was over there. I’ve experienced the limitations of socialized medicine first hand after being seriously injured while studying in Greece during college. When the tribute to the NHS began, mentioned -in earshot of my sil- that instead of children in their beds, they should depict women giving birth in hallways.

  4. Dave Carter
    C

    That celebration of subjugation was bad enough. The fact that America ratified it in the last election is worse. The article is perfectly ghastly in the horrors it lists. Coming to a country near you…

  5. Barkha Herman

    NHS is a gift that keeps on giving.  During the 2009 Obama care debates, I made it a point to scan British news for NHS disasters.  And I found a ton of them.

  6. Daniel Jeyn

    It says something about NHS care that legalized Euthanasia is probably an improvement to their current care.

  7. James Delingpole
    C

    That was my local hospital when I was growing up, Nathan. Clearly I am lucky to be alive. And yes, don’t worry, everyone in the Delingpole household got the creeps with that “Gawd bless the NHS” propaganda sequence.

  8. Nathan Harden
    C

    Wow. Like a horror film. Glad you survived. And yes, any thought that propaganda only works in N. Korea was soundly dispelled at the London games.

    James Delingpole: That was my local hospital when I was growing up, Nathan. Clearly I am lucky to be alive. And yes, don’t worry, everyone in the Delingpole household got the creeps with that “Gawd bless the NHS” propaganda sequence. · 1 hour ago

  9. Instugator
    Nathan Harden: Wow. Like a horror film. Glad you survived. And yes, any thought that propaganda only works in N. Korea was soundly dispelled at the London games. · 24 minutes ago

    James Delingpole: That was my local hospital when I was growing up, Nathan. Clearly I am lucky to be alive. And yes, don’t worry, everyone in the Delingpole household got the creeps with that “Gawd bless the NHS” propaganda sequence. · 1 hour ago

    Had they known he would grow up to be a conservative they might have put him on the pathway then.

  10. Duane Oyen

    Just follow the on-going PowerLine “Annals of Government Medicine“  series.

  11. Stephen Bishop

    Nathan

    Your conflation of what happened in Redditch with the NHS is like conflating Sandy Hook with the US public school system. 

    Honestly what happened in Redditch is a very unusual case.

  12. Daniel Jeyn

    Except Redditch was an NHS hospital.

    Your conflation of what happened in Redditch with the NHS is like conflating Sandy Hook with the US public school system. 

    Honestly what happened in Redditch is a very unusual case. · 35 minutes ago

    It would be like conflating it with Sandy Hook if those people at Redditch starved/died because a crazy person burst into their rooms and knocked the feeding tubes out of them.  It was worse than that.  It was the staff who were charged to care for them whose negligence resulted in this.

  13. Stephen Bishop

    OK let’s try it this way.

    One should not generalize from the particular to the many.

    Did that work?

  14. Animositas

    @Stephen Bishop

    “One should not generalize from the particular to the many.

    Did that work?”

    Unfortunately, no.

    The report mentions 38(!?) cases so it would seem that the “many” are already present. Also, as Daniel Jeyn has said, this was a government run hospital in a supposedly first-world nation, not a bush clinic in the third-world, and a man died of starvation for goodness sake.

    Years ago, when the Destruction of the Health System Act was just a fevered dream of leftists, Harvey at IMAO made the following statement that I believe goes straight to the heart of the matter,

    “It’s an imprudent choice to provide the government with a financial incentive to prefer to see you dead rather than ill.”

  15. Nathan Harden
    C

    “It would be like conflating it with Sandy Hook if those people at Redditch starved/died because a crazy person burst into their rooms and knocked the feeding tubes out of them.  It was worse than that.  It was the staff who were charged to care for them whose negligence resulted in this.”

    Right on.

    Daniel Jeyn: Except Redditch was an NHS hospital.

    Your conflation of what happened in Redditch with the NHS is like conflating Sandy Hook with the US public school system. 

    Honestly what happened in Redditch is a very unusual case. · 35 minutes ago

     · 5 hours ago

  16. Stephen Bishop
    Animositas: @Stephen Bishop

    The report mentions 38(!?) cases …

    In one hospital.

    Animositas: @Stephen Bishop

     Also, as Daniel Jeyn has said, this was a government run hospital in a supposedly first-world nation, not a bush clinic in the third-world, and a man died of starvation for goodness sake.

    It appears that you have the expectation that the government can run  a hospital as well, if not better, than the private sector.

  17. Daniel Jeyn
    It appears that you have the expectation that the government can run  a hospital as well, if not better, than the private sector. · 0 minutes ago

    I have an expectation that people will act according to their incentives.  If most government hospitals were gleaming, clean, and wonderfully efficient, then we would not be able to extrapolate as much from this case.  As it seems, this is merely the worst case where the care for patients is not an incentive.  Nor is the incentive to hire people who will care.  Nor is the incentive to address that problem.

  18. Fastflyer

    Creeped me out to the max!

  19. Instugator
    Daniel Jeyn: It says something about NHS care that legalized Euthanasia is probably an improvement to their current care. · January 2, 2013 at 6:59am

    Great Britain imposes the death penalty for the sick and disabled and not necessarily with due process (certainly without appeal).

  20. Stephen Bishop

    Here’s another example of where things have gone wrong in an NHS hospital.