I lived in Great Britain for three years (1994-1997) and have first-hand experience with the National Health Service. Needless to say, I was not impressed. They do fine with child-birth and then abandon older people to their own fate. Nationalized health care is rationed health and do not let anyone tell you differently. When you become old enough, the health service you spent your whole life paying into abandons you in your time of greatest need. Now we have a stark example of this.
Wesley Smith has a blog entry on this. It will make you sick. According to the British newspaper, The Daily Mail, a desperate hospital patient died after he was denied hydration by the hospital. To get hydration, he called the police and begged them to bring him a drink. The patient, Kane Gorny, 22, needed drugs to regulate his hormone levels after successfully beating brain cancer months earlier. However, during a further hospital stay nurses forgot to give him his medication and he became so delirious he was forced to call 999 (the UK equivalent of 911) to ask for help. The police officers went to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, but were turned away by staff who insisted that Mr Gorny was fine. Gorny had been admitted in May 2009 to undergo hip replacement surgery after his bones became brittle. This was a side-effect of his prescribed steroids. Kane’s mother, Rita Cronin, said she spent hours trying to convince hospital staff that Kane needed urgent attention but was repeatedly “told he was alright.” See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2167643/Patient-dying-thirst-rang-999-Inquest-hears-mothers-fury-nurses-neglected-son.html for the article.
An inquiry into the matter has been initiated by the Crown Prosecution Service at the behest of Gorny’s parents. Kane Gorny had surgery on his pituitary gland, and he had problems regulating his levels of salt and water in his system. Pituitary surgery commonly damages that back part of the pituitary gland and this prevents the release of antidiuretic hormone (ADH, also known as vasopressin). Without ADH, patients have a condition called diabetes insipidus, and they need to take exogenous ADH. Without exogenous ADH, the patient will urinated themselves to death. The nurses failed to give him his medicine, and dismissed his concerns and the concerns of his mother. Because he was so dehydrated, Kane called the police to get some fluid, but the nurses at the hospital dismissed them. He died from dehydration and abnormally sodium levels. His death was almost certainly a painful one.
The inquiry will probably result in some nurses being sacked (British for fired), but the status quo will probably be maintained. This kind of abuse is more routine in the British Health System than they would probably admit. Doctors have even started to prescribe water to elderly patients to prevent them from dying from dehydration. Is this what we want for the US?