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Would you refuse treatment to an ex-smoker with lung cancer?

by VerityG (follow)
A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
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Yes No switch refuse treatment medical ethics
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An answer to another question has made me wonder. How many people believe that, if a medical condition is knowingly self-inflicted, the patient should be refused treatment?
For example, the risks of smoking are well-known now and highlighted on packaging and advertising. So would you refuse treatment to an ex-smoker with lung cancer? If yes, where would you draw the line - no treatment for the cancer but yes to pain management? Or no medical treatment at all?

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Where would you draw the line? Everybody knowingly takes risks every day. It would be awfully hard to determine for somebody else after the fact which risks were acceptable and which weren't. Would you also refuse treatment for people with heart disease or cancer if they hadn't eaten the best possible diet their whole lives? Do you you refuse to treat sporting injuries because you don't think the injured person should have been playing a contact sport?
Absolutely not. Smoking is an addiction, addiction is an illness, and one of the symptoms is lung cancer.
I would not refuse treatment to anyone.
Unless
It was new organs, then the age of the person would have to be taken into consideration.

If those organs are badly needed for a child, then
the child must come first.
I would have no problem doing that.

I would want to help as much as possible, having said that.

I just wish someone would make it illegal to sell them in 2015!!!
I find this is a difficult question to answer, in real life terms anyway. In a theoretical situation then I wouldn't hesitate to say "no". But.... in real life, resources are limited and treating someone with a self-inflicted condition could mean that someone else, who is in no way responsible for their condition, doesn't get the treatment they need. Decisions do have to be made, at a national policy level and at a day-to-day on the ground level, between patients and it's tough.
Particularly if, as in this example, the patient is an EX-smoker, so has realised the damage he or she is inflicting on themselves and managed to fight their addiction.
Never.
No I wouldn't deny such a person treatment. The ailment would be punishment enough.
That's an interesting way of looking at it - I hadn't thought of it that way before!
No, I would never refuse treatment to a cancer patient. Cancer patients in the past made themselves available as the guinea pigs for the treatments now available to people with many different types of cancers. And, it must be difficult for doctors to pick and choose treatment for such patients, as so many doctors are addicted to cigarettes, alcohol and recreational drugs. Bit hippocratical on their part, it would be.
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