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  • Nick MacIneskar

Surviving the NHS

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

The NHS wants a piece of me.

They used to leave me alone, but upon turning 50 a while back they must have moved me from the list that says ‘Young-ish and probably fine’ to the one that is entitled ‘ High risk of contracting everything known to man’.

'Which bit shall we take first?'

Because ever since the fateful day when I reached a half-century on this planet I have been inundated with letters from the NHS telling me that awful changes will likely be happening to my body and that they would like to take this opportunity to offer a medic’s services in exploring my rectum.

Other letters tell me that I probably could do with getting my blood pressure checked, my eyesight, my hearing and while they are about it my heart and other organs. I have been invited to send the NHS samples of my stools, submit to a no-smoking campaign, find new ways I can stop enjoying alcohol and devious methods of detecting if my mental health is deteriorating.

And it wasn’t easy asking them to stop.

I sent an email advising them that there is no way someone is going to be inserting their digit anywhere and that I found the idea of collecting my faeces, putting it into a little tube and popping it in the post a rather unpleasant way of spending my Sunday. I pointed out that simply mislabelling my completed envelope could lead to all sorts of confusion.

They replied in due course saying that I had to complete a disclaimer stating that if anything nasty occurs in that particular region of my body now or at any time in the future don’t say we didn’t tell you.

So I dutifully completed the form, receiving a final stern warning that the fate of my bottom was now in the lap of the gods.

Next I turned my attention to the medical facility that told me that when I finally shuffled off the mortal coil, they were going to use me as a kind of human larder by ‘harvesting’ anything they could from my lifeless body. I had visions of crazed, gowned and masked people opening me up like Christmas, pulling out bits they like or didn’t like (‘what do you reckon to this, then, Bob?’ A quick glance at the purple knobbly object in his hands, then...’Nah, mate, it looks rancid – bin it’).

Call me selfish, but I don’t fancy it, sorry. You are not going to take out my bits, give them a quick wash and shove them into someone else’s cavity.

Who knows who my donated organs will keep alive? It could be some complete bastard that kicks cats or wants to lovingly spoon more cocaine into their nostrils. And what is more, my donation will be mandatory unless I ‘opt out’ of giving my innards to others, which really makes a mockery of the term ‘donation’. This was, at least, a bit easier and could be done online but I’m afraid that the NHS website is run a bit like an online business, you know the sort of pages that when you click the X another window will pop up offering you even more things you don’t want?

Well, the NHS website is like that. After you send off the form politely requesting they don’t get their mitts on your intestines there are links to all sorts of other things you could give away instead, namely your blood, your bone marrow, your skin, your platelets and even your baby’s cord blood after birth – is there nothing these people don’t want?

Well as a matter of fact there is.

They don’t want your brain and for that we can at least be thankful.

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