Thursday, 27 June 2013


If you weren't one of the four million viewers of  Channel 4's 'The Man with The Ten Stone Testicles' on Monday, I'd urge you to catch it on 4oD .  It makes for thought provoking viewing and is a testament to why we so need those effective joined up health and social care systems that this, and I have to say, pretty much every other government seems so hell bent on dismantling at the moment.

Fortunately Wesley Warren's Jnr's story has a happy ending but before his operation he had to endure years of suffering and hardship whilst he worked out the logistics of how he was going to get the surgery that he needed in the modern day US, arguably the most advanced country in the world.  Attempts to publicise his plight with a view to raising funds for medical care met with accusations in the press and on social media that he had become addicted to the fame that his condition had brought him.  His moneymaking endeavours came to an abrupt halt but not before Social Services had stopped his benefits because a small amount of cash had come in from his efforts.

I'm 99.9% sure that no-one in the UK would be in this man's predicament and that he'd receive the medical care needed at a far earlier stage.  At least I hope to God that this is so.    What astounded me was that the surgeon, who ended up operating  for free, stalled on making the decision to do so to see if Wesley could stump up the six figure sum that it cost.  In the meantime his tumour, for that is what his 'testicles' turned out to be,  increased further in size rendering him more disabled and increasing the risk of fatality when surgery actually took place.  How can such financial motivation outweigh compassion for a fellow human being that was clearly vulnerable and suffering.  I'm at a loss but know with absolute certainty that this is not the kind of inequality that I want in my own country.

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