A world without diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that is invisible. The disease is hidden, often not diagnosed until it has caused damage.
Type 2 diabetes is often brought on by being overweight, eating an unhealthy diet, and too much of it.
The UK spends around £9bn a year treating people for type 2 diabetes. (£1bn for type 1.)
The total direct and indirect costs of type 1 and 2 diabetes is around £24bn a year.
It can usually be avoided by having a healthy lifestyle…reasonable exercise, good diet, healthy weight.
The results of diabetes include loss of limbs, loss of eyesight, heart disease, renal disease, extensive neuropathic pain.
I wish to propose that this disease, which is invisible and to a large extent avoidable, should not be treated.
The direct health care savings of £10bn could be used elsewhere to improve care and introduce new, expensive drugs and treatment, for example for cancer. After all, I’m sure we all agree that cancer is a disease that must be eradicated, and that anyone developing cancer should get every possible support and care.
We heard Lady Tessa Jowell speaking passionately from personal experience about this need for more investment in cancer treatment in the House of Lords just yesterday.
My proposed new approach to diabetes would provide a powerful lesson to the population that if you don’t live healthily you will die. If, on the other hand, you have cancer you will be taken care of.
There would soon be very few amputees and partially sighted citizens, with associated savings to society. Tooth decay would reduce dramatically as sugary foods became a thing of the past.
And by devoting resources to cancer treatment society would gain extra economic activity and resultant higher tax receipts as citizens continue to work into their late 60s and 70s.
Citizens would live well with cancer, rather than dying painful, unnecessary deaths. Citizens’ learned life and job skills and knowledge would not be wasted. Families would not be torn apart.
So, please, let’s stop treating diabetes, and devote our resources to cancer.
After all, we don’t support and treat people living with dementia. As a protected group under disability law, it is wrong, indeed illegal, that one group is singled out for prejudicially inferior care.
But the equalities laws clearly do not apply to disease groups that are invisible, like mental Illness and brain disease. So let’s add diabetes. Society would be better off.
Let’s make Britain great again. No cancer, no diabetes, no dementia.
If you can’t see it, it can’t exist.
[Disclaimer: for the avoidance of doubt, this is satirical, not to be taken literally.]