Thursday 12 June 2014

Diagnosis Murder

Whatever you may think of the medical profession – saints or sinners – it is, undoubtedly, a profession; we pay for it. And as with any market when everybody owns a widget or a smart-widget or an ersatz widget the search is on to replace widgets with gizmos and create a new demand, more business, more profit. Diversify to thrive. The pedlars of quack cures for consumption and ague have long since gone to the big surgery in the sky and the relentless quest for the latest, on-trend, disease du jour continues. Whatever happened to Yuppie Flu?

Nobody wants to cure the faux epidemic, of course; the real money is in diagnosing it and treating it. Statins, anybody? And a little know perverse reality is that those much-lauded drug trials are skewed to favour the likes of GSK’s latest potion against yesterday’s miracle salve. Dare I say ‘side effects’? The reason they keep on tinkering with your old dad’s combination of meds is because those trials continue long after the medicine is licensed and nobody fully knows how any particular drug regime recipe is going to affect any individual in advance.

The real drug of choice for most people should simply be less. Less meat, less dairy, less alcohol, less nicotine, less fat, less salt, less sugar, less… more ‘less’. But less is difficult and we are so accustomed to having what we crave when we crave it that the idea of temperance is a bitter pill to swallow. Oh, if only they would invent that pinnacle of self-medication the fix-everything, after-everything pill. Until then we have to make do with deadly concoctions of dodgy chemicals and trust that our pushers – the GPs – are independently wealthy enough to resist the inducements to prescribe the latest silver bullet.

With the exception of unconscionably large amounts of alcohol and the occasional paracetamol (although rarely for hangovers – I generally don’t get hangovers) my only regular weakness is gluttony. So, I’m definitely not going to the doctors because I’ve just learned that the latest on-trend diagnosis is ‘Pre-diabetic’. I believe we used to call it ‘being a bit overweight’, but my god what have we come to when in order to line its pockets the medi-scare industry has to stoop to crystal ball gazing?

Still, if this recent report into shortfalls on state pensionentitlement is true we might not all be able to afford any actual, proper, old-age diseases in the future at all. The greatest insult and irony, of course, is that it is the very people who have generally used the NHS the least while they worked most of their lives to pay into the system that may end up getting the least out. Meanwhile, those who have never worked and will have freely availed themselves of every medical trend on offer, if only as a way of passing the time, will have a ‘full stamp’ and ease seamlessly from working age benefits to a pension with barely a glitch.

Working to death!
Hey, I'm working to death here!

But hey, it has fuck-all to do with me. When the time comes I’d rather dress in a bin bag, hop in a skip and pop a cyanide pill than endure a slow demise as a lab rat for the drug companies. My 100% accurate terminal diagnosis was made at birth. Forget pre-diabetes, or even pre-pre-diabets; when you face up to it, we’re all suffering from pre-death anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Diabetes is entirely in our own hands - I talk a lot about it having "Undiabetes-ised" myself. See helpful stuff here -