Nanny State

By | 13th June 2012

It’s a funny thing but over the last few years they’ve been making the fonts a little smaller in books and on restaurant menus.

The latter is particularly frustrating because you would have expected such establishments to want to sell as much as possible. I’ve noticed that this trend coincides with TV programs and movies using soft focus. Now to cap it all I find that this blurriness has spilled over into real life.

As if that wasn’t sufficient everyone is also talking more quietly and the radio is obviously being broadcast with a view to reducing our carbon footprint because it is so quiet. However there comes a time, when people are getting so fuzzy, that even I have to consider an appalling alternative view, that I might be getting old.


I’ve considered this for a millisecond and rejected the hypothesis. Yes there might be a bit less hair. Yes there might be a few more grey or even white bits in my reflection. And maybe even a few more wrinkles. But the bottom line is that I simply don’t feel old.

I feel fitter now than when I was at Medical School. So it is hard to contemplate failing faculties such as vision and hearing. It is harder still to contemplate taking medication for anything long term. And it is galling to think that I’m old enough to join Saga and that according to the latest boffin and the government I’m of an age that I should automatically be taking statins.

Unwanted Treatment

I suppose this is simply more evidence that we live in a Nanny state. What is even more galling is that I, as a GP, am being blamed for the overzealous approach of my academic colleagues for foisting unwanted treatment upon the fit and well.

I read an article in the Independent that complained about this very topic and lamented the controlling nature of government and then went on to blame GPs for a whole litany of government policy. Stopping smoking, drinking, losing weight, exercising and now taking statins.

Informed Decisions

Let me put the record straight. I do not tell anyone how they should live their lives. That is entirely up to the individual – all I believe is that people should make informed decisions and it is my job to ensure that they have the knowledge to make those decisions.

Much in the same way that I can continue to live my life in the belief that I’m still 20 years old and have perfect vision or I can choose to accept the inevitable and start wearing glasses. It is my decision and I will defend the right of anyone to refuse good advice even when it is well intended.

I will even defend the right of people to read the Daily Mail!

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