Smoking heart victim: out of court settlement

Tuesday 16 March 1999

ASH/ Press releases/


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Press release
16th March 1999
Action on Smoking
and Health

Smoking heart victim – out of court settlement

Commenting on the payment of £40,000 to thewidow of a smoker denied treatment at a Southampton Hospital, Clive Bates, Director of ASHsympathised with the difficult decisions made by the doctors and said:

“We don’t think that anyone should bebarred from treatment just because they smoke. The decision to operate must be based on aclinical judgement of the likely chances of success and the benefits of a successfuloperation – and this should apply equally to smokers and non-smokers. The problem isthat smoking influences the chance of success and likely benefits and doctors must takethis into account.”

“It is wrong to assume that differenttreatment means discrimination – it may simply reflect the different health status ofsmokers and non-smokers. The NHS ought to spend its money where it can do the greatestpossible good.”




Contact Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902

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