In its never-ending march towards the socialized health system cliff, the British National Health System (NHS) now plans to force doctors to ask all patients over the age of 16 about their sexual orientation – for "sexual orientation monitoring" to keep up with legal duties under the UK's equality regulations.
Revealed in a document Sunday by the Daily Mail, the NHS directive will become operative starting in April of 2019.
The astonishing diktat – condemned as ‘intrusive’ and ‘insulting’ – orders doctors to include details of a patient’s sexuality on their permanent medical record for the first time.
And, as the Daily Mail notes:
The directions suggest patients could be asked the highly personal question regularly if the records are not properly shared between different parts of the NHS as patients attend GP appointments, A&E, outpatients or even antenatal classes.
Its instructions say that "sexual orientation monitoring" should take place "at every face-to-face contact with the patient, where no record of this data exists."
And the Daily Mail also keenly observes that this personal information could be hacked, disseminated to the wider population, and used for blackmail.
A few hours after the revelation, the Telegraph reported that doctors are at the breaking point and ready to rebel.
Said Dr. Michael Dixon, a general practitioner quoted in the Telegraph piece:
“It might threaten a relationship between GPs and their patients. It’s a bit like saying to your doctor 'I have a sore throat', and they ask to check your feet.”
Indeed. But Dr. Dixon’s phrasing falls short when describing the depth of this problem. “Might threaten” should read, “outright threatens.” There is no possible way that a third party inserting itself between doctors and patients does not threaten the doctor-patient relationship. In fact, by definition, it is no longer a doctor-patient relationship. It is a doctor-bureaucrat-patient-paper-shuffler-taxman-politician relationship.
Stunning in its invasiveness, yet so often lauded by collectivists, such a government-payer system breaches not only that once-sacred relationship, it can only exist by breaching other principles as well. First among those is self-ownership. A government-run medical system also ruins the concept of privacy, about which most leftists used to care when it came to George W. Bush getting peoples’ cell phone records, but which seems of little import when one asks them about the government acquiring personal medical records.
Then there is medical choice. It’s wiped out – not only for the patient, but for the doctors as well. Dictates and mandates replace competitive market offerings. Higher prices and caps on what the government will pay replace the downward trend of natural competition. And price caps still cannot stop the increasing costs of centrally-run, socialized medical systems.
Yet the busybodies behind it want to acquire more power, to force doctors to ask questions that the busybodies want asked. On principle, it should not matter whether the questions were about sexual orientation or about a patient’s favorite color or song. The point is that the relationship between any buyer and seller of services or items should be free from coercive interference by others. Such interference is, by definition, aggressive, and has no place in an ethical society. If we were to do that to our neighbors ourselves, we would be shunned. But politicians feel it is perfectly fine to behave in such a manner.
Despite this, certain forces in UK politics prattle that this kind of invasion of privacy is necessary. See, it’s about equality. Said the Telegraph:
The health service said the move was to keep in line with equality legislation to ensure those who do not identify as heterosexual are treated fairly.
Can more people see now that a government-run system cannot handle its tasks without crushing rights? Can they see that the state cannot cater to some without harming others? As the NHS careens in a death spiral of expenses, horror stories about the withholding of life sustaining care for terminal patients, and even true tales of how aborted fetuses have been used to feed hospital furnaces, cold this privacy issue actually help folks open their eyes to the unworkability of socialism?
We surely know the answer. The UK people not only suffer from a terrible, expensive, and corrosive state-run medical system, they suffer from normalcy bias. They have lived with the NHS so long that many believe waiting periods, price problems, and terrible invasions of privacy are just part of the deal, and the fear of not having the government run everything spurs many to think that if they can just tweak the system, everything would be alright.
It’s not alright, and it never will be. This new scandal will be followed by more, and the Brits will likely tweak things just a little, as the NHS continues to rob Peter to pay Paul, and destroys all their rights in the bargain.