I saw a news item yesterday that upset me enough to knock my own book launch off the top of my blog. The item was a man by the name of Dr Raymond Janowski, Deputy head of something important for Hertfordshire Health Authority (or whatever the right name is) blandly trying to defend the Health Authority's policy of forcing people to lose weight before allowing them to have surgery. All a little imprecise, I know.
See, I was busy spitting nails because the article was actually about a 79 year old woman who was desperately in need of a hip replacement. She wasn't hugely overweight, but the hospital was insisting she lost over three stone before they would operate.
How in the names of the gods is a 79 year old woman supposed to lose a third of her body mass if she can't walk? You lose weight by exercise. Dieting alone is not very effective,and at her age she would be risking malnutrition of clinical anorexia - either of which would have compromised her recovery a damned sight more than a little excess fat.
There is a time and place for insisting that people lose weight before an operation, but this example was rampant bureaucracy, unnecessary and heartless, and I wish that these pompous, self-opinionated fools who make rules for the masses but ignore the needs of the individual could be afflicted with the ailments they refuse to cure, just long enough to give them a flavour of the suffering of others. Bet the rules would change then.