The horror of government-run medicine

The horrifying story of two parents fighting against the United Kingdom to obtain treatment for their cancer-striken child:

  1. Doctors successfully remove the boy’s tumor.
  2. To prevent cancer returning, the parents seek proton-beam treatment in place of ordinary radiation treatments.
  3. Doctors refuse.
  4. The parents suggest that they could pay for the treatment themselves.
  5. Doctors say no: you have to accept our recommendation, or else.
  6. Or else what? The doctors threaten that if the parents keep demanding treatment, they will impose a restraining order that will bar the parents from seeing their son.
  7. The parents check the child out of the hospital and leave the country.
  8. Story over? Oh no. The NHS contacts Interpol and issues an international missing person notice to find the boy.
  9. Staff at a Spanish hotel (where the parents are staying while they raise money for treatment) report them to the police.
  10. Spanish police arrest the parents, and extradite them back to the UK.
  11. After a flurry of bad press, the Prime Minister intervenes. The parents will not be prosecuted.
  12. The boy doesn’t get the treatment, but the parents aren’t barred from seeing the boy.

This is what passes for a happy ending when dealing with the NHS: Your boy doesn’t get treatment, but at least you don’t get punished for trying.

For its part, the police “make no apology” for their actions. And why would they? They’re the government.

This is why government-run health care is so much worse even than a cheap, badly-run HMO. With an HMO, you can fight for treatment. You might fail, but at least you can’t be punished for trying. With the NHS, the people who pass judgement on your care are the same ones who, if you annoy them, can take your children away.

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