Liam Farrell: A change of lifestyle? There is an easier way

'If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,' said George Orwell. So; 'I think you should consider changing your lifestyle, Joe,' I ventured.

‘Life-style,’ he said, pronouncing the word slowly, drawing it out, savouring it as if it was some rare new sweet, but one with a nasty after-taste.

‘You know, exercise and all,’ I explained, facts at my fingertips, patient education always my priority.
Joe looked around, as if sensing a trap closing in, and to my surprise, began to smite me with cunning arguments.

‘Let’s not rush into anything, doc,’ he said. ‘Pills get a bad rap; think about the advantages. They’re  convenient, easily transported, eminently suitable for use in the home, like when you’re sitting on the sofa watching Sky Sports. Their quality can be monitored, standardised, regulated, their dosages reliable and flexible.

‘And pills are uniquely suited to investigating in double blind, randomised controlled trials, Student T-Tests, significance levels, the whole statistical gestalt. They’re hard-core science, evidence-based medicine at it’s finest, none of this fuzzy holistic shite.’

‘But statistics are sluts,’ I said. ‘For the right money, they’ll prove anything you want them to.’

‘Of course,’ he said.

‘And trial results should be released, even if the results are negative,’ I said. ‘And made available to peer-reviewed journals.’

‘Can’t argue with that,’ he shrugged. ‘But although people might call drug companies greedy and capitalist, that’s what makes the world go round, man. Greed is good, and profit is the motivator, the innovator; if the pope or Mother Teresa ran a drug company, would new products be developed?’

‘But a good walk and five portions of fresh fruit or vegetables every day would be as good as any pill,’ I said.

‘Yeh,’ said Joe. ‘And I could heed the call of the wolf and hunt for myself as well, rejoice in the thrill of the chase and exult as I slake my thirst on the fresh warm blood of my new-slaughtered prey, but it’s a damn sight more convenient when my mammy sticks it on a plate in front of me.

‘Look on my lifestyle, Ozymandias, King of Kings, and despair.’

  • Dr Farrell is a GP from County Armagh. Follow him on Twitter@drlfarrell

Read more from Liam Farrell

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP services could be outsourced overseas under licensing changes being explored by the GMC

GP services could be outsourced overseas under licensing changes being explored by the GMC

General practice could be outsourced to digital medical services based overseas under...

London CCGs contest demands to pay for patients moving to GP at Hand

London CCGs contest demands to pay for patients moving to GP at Hand

London CCGs are contesting demands that they pay for patients who have signed up...

GP who secretly filmed CQC inspection suspended for two months

GP who secretly filmed CQC inspection suspended for two months

A single-handed GP who made covert audio and video recordings of his CQC inspection...

GMC sanction 12 times more likely for doctors who do badly in postgrad exams

GMC sanction 12 times more likely for doctors who do badly in postgrad exams

Doctors who perform poorly in postgraduate professional exams are twelve times more...

GP indemnity costs set to rise under government regulation plans

GP indemnity costs set to rise under government regulation plans

GPs could face increased costs under plans to regulate provision of medical indemnity,...

New vitamin D guidelines aim to provide clarity on testing and prescribing

New vitamin D guidelines aim to provide clarity on testing and prescribing

Dr Terry Aspray explains what the National Osteoporosis Society's new clinical guidelines...