Coming soon to a JC+ near you – Death by Sanctions…

If the government gets away with forcing people with MH problems to undergo treatment in exchange for benefits (my experience both as carer and victim is that what treatment there is inadequate, already overstretched, and hard to access**), this will undermine the basic right of patients to refuse any treatment they feel is inappropriate or harmful.

**I also feel very strongly that many of those afflicted by mental illness need the services of a skilled clinical psychiatrist, not some numpty with a gold star in counselling.

It will then, I’m sure, be only a matter of time before the whole toxic scheme is rolled out across the entire disability benefits spectrum – no treatment, no money.

However, with physical illness as with mental illness, nothing is as simple as these moronic ministers would like Daily Mail readers to believe. Most of us who are physically ill are already heavily burdened with drugs, so where else is there to go? Counselling won’t cure me any more than it will cure a broken leg. Likewise, seeing a consultant once a month would be utterly pointless, even if it were possible. Locally, repeat appointments are running at 6-month intervals (though mine has recently been stretched to 10 months). And who gets sanctioned in cases like this? Not the hospital, that’s for damn sure.

I’m past retirement age, so wouldn’t be affected (until they find a way to fuck with my pension and my DLA), but let’s assume, for the sake of argument that I’m of working age, and that this really will happen – and the more I think about it, the stronger my conviction that it will. Just how many specialists would it take to “justify” my benefits? Because Atos assessors wouldn’t have a clue as not only do I have multiple conditions, each impacts on the others in varying and often unpredictable ways.

I’d need these as an absolute minimum:-

A rheumatologist (for FMS; Cervical spine arthritis; Osteoarthritis)

A psychiatrist (to deal with long-term depression and frequent suicidal ideation)

A cardiologist (for  Heart failure; Aortic valve calcification & stenosis; Angina)

An endocrinologist (for Addison’s Disease)

A vascular consultant (for Bilateral Lymphoedema, chronically infected and, according to my GP, likely to kill me; leg ulcer)

A respiratory specialist (for COPD, which comprises asthma, bronchiectasis, emphysema – COPD just rolls up pre-existing conditions under an umbrella term – they don’t actually go away)

And a battery of specialists to deal with the mental and physical aspects of long-term damage from being struck by lightning, and M.E. which might be one and the same, but either way are inextricably linked. Why a battery of specialists? This is why.

So all this, let’s say, comes to pass, and there’s another problem – I’m housebound. It’s incredibly difficult for me to keep ONE hospital appointment, as I never know how functional I’m going to be on any given day until that day arrives. Keeping multiple appointments would be impossible.

It’s obvious, looking at that list, that it would be far cheaper just to bite the bullet and pay me but, doubtless, sanctions would be built in, and failure to attend appointments would result in loss of benefits – everybody wins except the claimant/patient.

And let’s be clear about this – enforced treatment, especially of the mentally ill, is not, in any way, intended to benefit the patient. It is, with malice aforethought, intended – as is pretty much inevitable given the vagaries of mental illness – that people will miss their appointments and be sanctioned. And, doubtless, sanctioned unto death.

And all of it deliberately engineered to reduce the benefits bill.

It also explains why IDS is still in post when better men – better human beings – have been fired. It needs his utter lack of conscience to push this through to its ultimate conclusion if these monsters get a second term with a majority – the Tory Final Solution. Not death camps, though I’m sure they have their proponents within the party, but state-sponsored Death by Sanctions.

7 thoughts on “Coming soon to a JC+ near you – Death by Sanctions…

  1. Superb post, Ron. People will no doubt come on here and tell you that you’re exaggerating, that your comparisons with the Third Reich are offensive, and that you are a foilhatter fantasist, but as far as I can determine, not only is what you have written the truth, it is solidly based on actual cases seen so far, and quite restrained in tone about disabled people’s experience under this illegitimate and mendacious government.

    Keep on keeping on.

    • A couple of years ago I predicted a return to the workhouse. Not there yet but we do already have Tories bemoaning their passing, and I still believe, in some form, they’ll be back. In fact it could be argued that Workfare is the workhouse at one remove – you stay in your own home but undertake menial work in exchange for JSA instead of a bowl of gruel and a straw pallet. And isn’t there a residential scheme on the cards for the young unemployed? Hmm . . .

      Oh, and thanks for the plug on Twitter – seems to have fallen on deaf ears, I’m afraid.

      When I was on IB I made the same argument about specialist assessment for people like me (and I was nowhere near as sick back then), to the DWP (pre IDS). They accepted the point. They wouldn’t now.

  2. No way in the world I could ever say that I enjoyed this article but I do receive a rather grim satisfaction that you most certainly know what you’re talking about in reference to chronic pain and illnesses and how government, by stealth, seeks to lighten the health bill by covertly killing off members of society powerless (for the most part) to defend themselves.
    Very bleak Sir, bleak indeed.

    • Powerless being the operative word. Twitter is overrun with people bellowing “We must do something!” Trouble is, no-one has any idea what, and that includes me. Even criticising members of the government and, by doing so, “causing them distress,” can land you in jail now. At least two people are already banged up. One, for yelling at Cameron “You have blood on your hands!” is, I think, serving 6 months. The fact that this government causes distress to millions counts, apparently, for nothing.

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