Sunday, 11 October 2009

More socialised medicine success

Another terrific story for the UK's socialised medical system with news that doctors had successfully transplanted donor lungs to a former British soldier who served in Iraq.

Problem number one. The lungs were cancerous.

Problem number two. Because he already had cancer he wasn't allowed to get a new transplant.
A British veteran of the war in Iraq has died after receiving cancerous lungs from a heavy smoker in a transplant, media reports say.

Matthew Millington, 31, a corporal in the Queens Royal Lancers, had the operation to save him from an incurable respiratory condition, The Times reported on Monday.

But the organs were from a donor who was believed to have smoked 30 to 50 roll-up cigarettes a day.

A tumour was found after the transplant, and its growth was accelerated by the drugs Millington took to prevent his body rejecting the organs.

Under hospital rules, as a cancer patient he was not allowed to receive a further pair of lungs.

The soldier died at home in Stoke-on-Trent in February last year.

His widow, Siobhan, said: "All Matthew wanted was another set of lungs".

"He said: They have given me a dud pair, get me another set. He thought he could beat it, but his condition deteriorated so fast from then."

Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, Britain's main heart and lung transplant centre, carried out the operation but said early X-rays on the organs to be transplanted did not find any signs of cancer, The Times reported.

An inquest was told last week that an internal investigation at Papworth pinpointed a string of problems and in Millington's case a radiographer had failed to highlight the growth of the cancerous tumour.

The hospital defended using smokers' lungs for transplants, saying that all organs were screened rigorously.
Matthew Millington was killed by the medical system. No other way to look at it.

Many people lose their lives due to mistakes by individual health practitioners. However, Matthew lost his life due to systemic issues within the UK's health service.

Can his family sue for medical malpractice in the same way they would be able to in a free market health system? I don't think so.

The Obama administration is completely nuts in its attempts to implement a government paid health system. They could make some improvements to the health insurance system and achieve terrific gains, for which they would gain political capital.

(Nothing Follows)


Ellen K said...

What a horrible story and a cautionary tale. Any government that can give you everything can also take it away.

Anonymous said...

Yes, everyone who dies in the UK is in fact murdered by socialism. It's the only possible conclusion. Anyone who thinks there's anything wrong with extrapolating from a single case to the entire system is a fool!

Jack Lacton said...

...but nowhere near as big a fool, anon, as someone who extropolates what I've written to mean that everyone who dies in the UK is murdered by socialism...