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healthier Britain 

Health efforts need clean air and less drinking

The health secretary Matt Hancock has called on people to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as reducing their consumption of alcohol, sugar, salt, fat and junk food, stopping smoking and staying active. At present, some £97 billion is spent on treating disease but only £8 billion on prevention. Hancock wants to shift the balance by getting people to take more responsibility for their health. He was immediately criticised for blaming the victim. “People do not ‘choose’ obesity or diabetes or cancer,” said Simon Capewell, professor of public health and policy…

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NHS Britain 

The NHS at 70: time for the lethal syringe?

Next week marks the 70th anniversary of the creation of the NHS. Perhaps instead of any burnishing of moral credentials, this might be an opportunity to start thinking the unthinkable. The NHS treats the state itself as the nation’s ultimate carer, giving it the authority to decide who should be helped to stay in this world and who should be helped prematurely out of it. It is therefore not a temple of compassion so much as a potential instrument of arbitrary and unaccountable power. How many more scandals will it…

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