Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

Please don’t let doctors make public policy. Not even health policy.

11 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. I think you’re reading him far too literally. I suspect that the first point he’s making is that elevation of cancer to an object of superstitious fear, even to the extent of that-which-must-not-be-named (I’m thinking of absurdities such as “the big C”), is irrational. His second point, I suspect, is that the returns on the huge expenditure so far have been miserably poor; only childhood cancers have seen substantial advances in treatment. Cancer has become a jolly good livelihood for large numbers of people, who also get to preen as benefactors of mankind. His third point, which is quite explicit, is that we are all going to die sometime, of something.

    It probably remains true that the best thing most people can do about their personal risk of dying of cancer is to refrain from smoking cigarettes.

  2. Like nuclear fusion, cancer research is a gravy train for those involved in it. If it is cured there go the jobs. Offer big prizes–instant billionaire–for success against the illness.

  3. My best friend was diagnosed a year ago with a rare form of cancer (which is normally only found in men over 70, and he’s 36. They did the genetic test, and it came back negative: he’s just as unlucky as hell). He responded well to treatment, albeit it is only pallitative as they can’t operate, and hopefully he’s kicked the can down the road as far as possible.

    In the last few years he’s done a few tours of Afghanistan in which is sister units were getting the shit kicked out of them. His wife was rigid with fear of seeing the two officers walking slowly up the drive, a fear compounded by the fact that when the UK military loses somebody in Afghanistan (Surreptitious Evil can correct me on this if I’m wrong) they pull all communications (they did this when wives were finding out news of their husbands’ deaths on Facebook before the official notification). So when a deployed guy goes offline, they know somebody has been killed or badly injured, and have to phone the official helpline for news.

    Anyway, he got back safely, thank God. And then got walloped by cancer. But I asked his wife, if this awful situation (and at one point he went into intensive care with prevailing opinion being that he wouldn’t come out) was preferable to getting the news that he’s stepped on an IED in Afghanistan. “Yes” she said, without any hesitation “at least this way there is time for talking, to say what needs to be said.”

    My guess is that is what the doctor is on about.

    (I’m a regular commenter on here, you all know who I am. I just don’t want this stuff coming up in a search linked to my name.)

  4. “Love, morphine and whisky”

    Public Health aren’t going to allow the whisky, and the love bit will be in short supply too. A ha’porth of morphine doled out grudgingly, with stern warnings about the long-term effects is my prediction.

  5. “Please don’t let doctors make public policy. Not even health policy” -Ah the cry of the bureaucrat – they do not like experts.

    + Stay out of the sun ( melanomas etc) , stay away from radiation, and others.

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    Mr Ecks – “Like nuclear fusion, cancer research is a gravy train for those involved in it. If it is cured there go the jobs. Offer big prizes–instant billionaire–for success against the illness.”

    That is not fair. If a researcher cured even one big cancer, they would have the equivalent of instant billionaire-dom. They would be famous beyond their wildest dreams. And fairly rich too.

    Cancer isn’t cured because curing cancer is hard. Unlike fusion it may also be possible. We can hope.

  7. If you were a genius then yes, you might get a billion for curing one or many cancers. But if you are a talentless vapid hack, a lucrative lifelong career getting virtually nowhere is real security. The fucking yank “War on Cancer” shite has taken 50 years and spent $100 billion and achieved next to nowt. Cancer cells are fairly easy to kill-the trick is not killing the ordinary cells as well. If progress is wanted then I would give them 2 years to come up with a major breakthrough or they would all be sacked without compensation and their pensions confiscated. The prospect of themselves and their families ending in a cardboard box might just get their minds on the job. And that is actual scientists/researchers I’m talking about–not to mention how many fuckers are drawing a nice living in “admin” both on the state and charidee sides.

  8. Surreptitious Evil

    when the UK military loses somebody in Afghanistan (Surreptitious Evil can correct me on this if I’m wrong) they pull all communications (they did this when wives were finding out news of their husbands’ deaths on Facebook before the official notification).

    “Op MINIMISE”

    All “welfare” commumications and not always competently. But otherwise correct as to action and motive.

    One of the issues was the delay in knowing, while the medics did their thing, whether a serious injury was treatable, permanently disabling or terminal. Coupled with the time difference, this meant that the military system didn’t have the hair trigger response time of Facebook.

  9. Another Regular Commentator

    My wife died young of cancer: I won’t try here to express the depth of my grief.

    Smith exaggerates the effectiveness of opiates, which were liberally dispensed, but he makes a valid point about the timing. It is a small mercy that we had a year to do and say the things we wanted to do and needed to say, and a few days when we knew it was time to whisper our last goodbyes.

    However, his thoughts are, I hope, about death from cancer in old age.

    (I’ve followed Regular Commentator’s example)

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