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?