Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Feature Head to head

Should smokers be refused surgery?

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 04 January 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:20

Rapid Response:

An Incomplete Argument For Denying Treatment

A punitive policy developed and implemented on the incorrect basis
that smokers choose to smoke or that this is ther lifestyle choice would
be unfair and unethical. This is no part of the argument I put forward in
this debate. It is simplistic to make ethical arguments that end with an
individual patient when judgements made at that level clearly impact on
others who may have lesser access to services. Cost-effectiveness
comparisons between very different forms of health care services are
always vexed but here the comparisons, choices and differences in outcomes
are somewhat clearer.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 January 2007
Matthew Peters
Respiratory Physician
Concord Hospital, Sydney Australia 2139