Now there is news afoot in the UK of bribing compensating women who choose to give up smoking while pregnant and for the six months following birth. Is that a good idea?
Our healthcare system is renowned but also a cash pit so it probably makes sense to a politician or economist to pay out £750 instead of the thousands that will pay for the health care of an ailing infant but…
Is it wise to compensate people who choose not to employ their will or is it the start of a new cycle of social support that results in more people trapped in a system that they cannot escape from? Why do for yourself something that the government will pay you to do without exerting yourself?
How far should the NHS go? A lot of medical conditions can be prevented by eating a better diet. Should people be paid to eat right as it might be more cost-effective to prevent obesity related diseases rather than treat them when (not if) they crop up? Should the NHS become this overall master and determinant of people’s will to choose?
On the other side, the infants have no choice over which mother they are born to, so why should they bear the consequence of their mother’s inability to stop smoking. If there is a way to stop the mothers and this includes bribery then how can we object – for the children’s sake?
I personally would hate to be paid to do what I should be doing for the health of my child and am uncertain as to whether it would work. I cannot imagine giving up chocolate for a paltry £750 and how will I carry on after the novelty of the money wears off (the money is spent).
I suppose, we must wait and see how the trial works out.