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2010 Section 3 Question 2

According to the statement, the people who partake in activities that may cause serious injuries or even death should not be treated by publicly funded health service.

This argument is logical as the people who do extreme sports know that they may potentially get injured. They are fully aware of the consequences and yet, they do it for the thrill. Some may argue that injuries caused by extreme sports should be deemed self-inflicted and that NHS resources should only be used to treat patients who did not purposefully put themselves in danger. It should be the duty of every person to keep themselves healthy. Usage of NHS resources to treat people who regularly do extreme sports reduces the resources available for illnesses which were not self-inflicted.

On the contrary, some may argue that extreme sports participants who pay taxes should have full access to the public health service. They regularly pay money to fund the NHS and hence, denying them treatments will be unethical. “Never discriminate unfairly against patients” is a statement in the Good Medical Practice booklet. If extreme sports injuries are considered self-inflicted, then conditions caused by smoking, drug abuse, overeating and alcohol consumption should also be considered self-inflicted. This statement could be used as a deterrent to discourage people from taking risks that could change their life and health completely. If treatments were denied for self-inflicted injuries, then many people would discontinue any activities that could potentially place themselves in danger.

To conclude, patient autonomy is very important in any healthcare system and should be respected. It should not matter how an injury was inflicted as every citizen has a right to healthcare.

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