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Under a sub-heading 'Killer that strikes every 18 days', we read: 'Experts believe Ecstasy kills at least 20 Britons a year, most of them under 30. Yet the Home Office keeps no up-to-date record of the toll.'
These micro-organisms can enter patients during operations or through drips or catheters. They can lead to various types of infection, including blood poisoning. They spread easily. And their rapid mutation is attributed to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics which members of the medical profession have been 'handing out like Smarties'.
Dr Barry Cookson, head of infection control at the Public Health Laboratory Service, is reported as claiming that 'hospital-acquired infections, including MRSA and other superbugs, caused about 5,000 deaths a year, 1,000 more than road accidents. That means if someone becomes infected with it when they come into hospital, doctors will be powerless to help them. It's a terrifying prospect.'
Would it not perhaps be more responsible for the Daily Mail to highlight the perils of superbug infection than to encourage governments to further restrict personal freedom by extending the range of arbitrarily banned substances?
Consider the benefits of a prudent fear of superbug infection. Such a fear would immediately restrain the demand for non-emergency surgery and thus at a stroke reduce the length of hospital waiting lists. It would put some sort of tourniquet on the flow of funds into ever-more-expensive high-tech hospital treatments and pharmaceutical products whose much-lauded benefits can so easily be sabotaged by some of the lowest known forms of life. A sense of proportion would do everybody a favour.