Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hospitals and control freakery

I recently visited St Richard's to find a big banner proclaiming "smoking is banned". I didn't think anything of it as smoking on wards has been banned for some time to the best of my knowledge. On reading the small print I was shocked to find that not only was in banned in the hospital buildings but also in the grounds and in vehicles.

As it happens my reasons were going were pleasant but many people visit hospitals in dire circumstances to visit a desperately ill friend or relative. To be told that, in moment's of intense stress and distress you cannot pop outside and have a cigarette strikes me as very wrong. As for the legality of telling someone they can't smoke in their own car, I question it.

I would like to record that my reaction was to light up a good Havana (I am a non smoker) immediately outside the administration offices but sadly I didn't have any with me. Surely these health and safety fascists should be told where to get off (Mariana's trench would seem a good place to start). How many relatives will be unable to relieve intense anguish and how many patients will die because surgeon's weren't allowed a quick smoke before going in to undertake a difficult operation ? Further, in a cash strapped NHS, how much time and money is being wasted on this initiative ? Smoking may be bad for many people’s health but surely we should be entitled to make up our own minds.


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