Sentinel leader column: Is this an act of cruelty?
WE all agree that the NHS has to be careful how it spends its money. As taxpayers we wouldn't want this any other way. The demands on the NHS are great. The cost of many treatments are higher than ever before because the NHS is dealing with illnesses and diseases which couldn't be helped in a bygone era. So any PCT has to look carefully where its money goes. However, the NHS needs to have the ability to look at each patient on a case by case basis rather than, as it appears now, a broad brush. The case of Duncan Buckley falls into this category. He was involved in a horrendous car crash which left him with a five per cent chance of survival. The circumstances and blame for the crash are not important in this case. What is important is that it is the duty of the NHS to care for this man in the best way possible. Without doubt, the NHS has stuck to its side of the bargain with Duncan having 22 operations, until now.
D uncan, with the backing of Professor Peter Thomas firmly believe that one more operation will transform his life and put him out of the pain he is in everyday. So, after 22 operations and 12 months of treatment, with the chance to lead a better life by having one more operation, it seems bizarre, bordering on ridiculous, that Duncan should be denied one last operation. He has been told that his case is not "exceptional enough". Yet his case has been "exceptional enough" for 22 operations, so why stop now when he is one step away from a life-changing operation? Indeed, rather than saving money, it is a waste of money. Why bother having all those operations, which would have cost a considerable amount, only to decide to pull the plug on finishing the job? In many respects it is an act of cruelty. Duncan has probably dreamed of the day when his broken body would be put back together and this was the last step for him. All we ask is for the PCTs to reconsider and have some humanity.
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Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013