Monday, May 23, 2011

PSA: Don't Drink and Drive

This is a reprise of a post I did back in June of 2008 (boy, those were the days!).  I'm not changing the format of the post (I'm lazy like that) -- just updating the supporting images and numbers for the Obama Era.

Off we go!

So normally a really, really good sale on beer is something for which we lustily cheer. And while that is certainly the case in this case for the price of the case of beer pictured below, we feel we must issue the following Public Service Announcement:

Don't Drink and Drive

Price of Case of Beer:.....................$10 (2 12-packs/$10)
Number of beers per case:...............24
Fluid ounces per beer:..........__........12
Fluid ounces per case:..............._....288

Price per ounce:.........................$0.03472
Fluid ounces per gallon:.................. 128

Price of Beer per Gallon:...$4.44

Price of Gas per Gallon:..>..$4.79

Don't Drink and Drive.
Just Drink. Don't Drive.
It's Cheaper.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Don't Ever Think It Can't Get Worse

Bryan Preston at the Tatler gives us this:

Great news: Britain’s national health service is still getting worse

Not treating people, or making them wait longer and longer for treatment, in an aging society is just another form of healthcare rationing.

Doctors are blaming financial pressures on the NHS for an increase in the number of patients who are not being treated within the 18 weeks that the government recommends.

New NHS performance data reveal that the number of people in England who are being forced to wait more than 18 weeks has risen by 26% in the last year, while the number who had to wait longer than six months has shot up by 43%.

Brings to mind a friend's post a couple years ago. For those who didn't know PUK, Peter Bocking, he was a dear friend of the Just One Minute community. He passed away in the fall of 2009. If you didn't know him and haven't seen it before -- see a few posts I did as a "Best Of PUK" series at the time -- here and here and here and here.

At one point on Just One Minute, he related his experience with Britain's NHS dealing with the death of his mother. It was a heartbreaking tale -- and one quite out of character for PUK. He delivered it, reluctantly, not to try and garner sympathy, but as a warning to his American friends of what the path toward state run healthcare would lead to. He posted that story in a series of comments. After he passed away, I collected them in a single comment at Just One Minute to record them for posterity.

Clarice Feldman took that collection and printed it at American Thinker.

I'm going to reprint his comments here, again to put a person in front of the statistics we continually read about, so we do not simply become inured to the impact such appalling treatment has on real lives. It's what PUK was trying to do for us:


I always used to go round to see my mother each day to make sure she had everything she needed. One morning I got the urge to ring her for some inexplicable reason,she sounded hoarse,so it seemed a good idea to pop round and check her out.She was unwell so I called the doctor out,he prescribed some antibiotics and said "keep an eye on her". Since the carers were due at that time it was possible to collect the prescription and get some shopping done. Having done that,I went home,her cleaner was there,she was also a friend.

Later that day,the cleaner phoned to say my mother had "crawled upstairs" and gone to bed. She was like that very independent.

She was in bed and having trouble breathing and could not lie down,it appeared to be heart failure,a familiar condition. I gave her ten minutes to decide on an ambulance or a cup of tea.She opted for the ambulance.

The ambulance was rapid,since they had a description of the problem,the paramedics dealt with the situation efficiently and professionally. Unfortunately I could not go in the ambulance with her,because,it was night,my money and medication were at home,all I was wearing was trousers and a T shirt.

On arrival in the ward the following morning,a doctor ushered me into a side room.

"We treated her for heart failure not knowing she had bad kidneys" "She has about a month,all I can tell you is when it happens it will be quick"

All I could think of saying was "Have you anything else to say to me"

The doctor hesitated "No", he said and left the room with his assistant,(witness)

Visiting was Hell! It was a fight to get flexible visiting times,the jobsworths fought it every inch,despite my being the only family member.

I watched my mother die alone, in a side room,the nurse was on her tea break,the pain killing drugs that had been promised, unadministered. She was eighty four.

Fuck the National Health Service!!!!


Kidney failure is horrendous. Victims literally die before your eyes as the salt builds up in their bodies,the faculties decay, one by one. I watched her go blind an assume the characteristics of dementia.

One sister said,when I asked her to help her move."She can do it herself"!

Whilst General Practitioners know their patients,hospitals can be on the level of battery chicken factories.


Terrible indeed. Medical have to be impersonal to a certain extent to stay sane,but that doesn't help the patient or their families.

A friend of mine,a philosopher,says that the moral component has disappeared from medical ethics. Everything is now distilled down to utilitarian and legal considerations

This,I think, removes the humanity from medicine,and indeed many other areas of life.


It wasn't about me,I just did what ever was best for my mother.If it took grovelling the so be it,if it took a temper tantrum,off we go.Plenty of schmoozing the nurses who looked after her. Whatever creates the best environment.


I've never talked about it before,I sense it is a more common experience.There needs to be a greater concentration on medical ethics,doctors aren't fixing clunkers,but human beings.


The worst was watching the end,despite promises, my mother did not die easy.She was obviously in great pain when the salt reached her heart.As she went her false teeth came out.I put them back and stroked her hair into place,gave her a last kiss on her forehead,spent some time,I know not how long,with while the nurses came and pronounced her dead.

Then I rang my lift who had gone home,not thinking it would be so quick,and walked the four miles back to her house,locked up and went home.


I was alone with her in the room.They always wheeled them into that side room to die.It was the absence of nursing or other staff that was appalling,that and the lack of any palliative medication.


She died the 8th July 2003.

Not hard to keep calm.I'm neurotic about things like losing a pair of glasses,but anything serious and I go ice cold efficient. Just made that way I suppose.


Amazing how the human race adapts to the most cruel afflictions.That is why the "death panels" are so obscene,people can live a life even under the most difficult conditions. Who is some little Nazi like Emanuel to withhold treatment?


This is the story of the human race,it is all our stories,they should be taken into account in any health system.

The quality of their lives and magnitude of their losses should be factored into the equation.We should start a movement for morality and humanity in medicine.