Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Turns out we DON'T have the looniest doctors...

In an earlier post I was concerned that our medical loonies are possibly scarier than other countries medical loonies, but it turns out I could be wrong. Phew, the relief! Our homegrown "Doctors for the Environment" who are normally the font of all things ethically questionable are at least a fringe dwelling crew mostly comprised of undergraduate medical students.
However in the UK, it looks like this non-sensical alarmism goes right to the top, and holy crap - they're organised! They also think that GPs and nurses should be educating their patients on how to prevent climate change.

The Climate and Health Council, a collaboration of worldwide health organisations including the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine, thinks that:

offering patients advice on how to lower their carbon footprint can be just as easy and achievable as helping them to stop smoking or eat a healthier diet.

Because it's just so easy to get patients to stop smoking and eat better.

Other problems with this could be:

1. The evidence base being slightly lacking. Don't we practice Evidence Based Medicine or something these days? I should know, what with all those degrees in non-evidence based hippy goodness behind me. I know shoddy research when I see it, however I'm worried that your average alarmist doctor wouldn't know a confounding factor if it sat on their face and wiggled.

2. Advocating for people to "eat local" is just, well, dumb. What are you going to eat if you live in central London? Pidgeons?

3. Do you have any idea how long it would take to actually do this? GP's start charging for a long consultation after 5 minutes, and any longer than 10 and you'll have to come back next week. Im sure the NHS woud be stoked with having to pay for all of this.

4. If you had a spare 5 minutes with a patient and you had a choice between teaching them to offset their carbon emissions next time they drive to the shops or maybe educating them about optimal control of their diabetes, I would probably err on the side of getting their blood sugar down before their legs drop off. But I'm wierd like that.

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