Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Couch Potatoes of the World Unite

You wouldn't ever expect that a gynaecologist would care about my health.

But apparently at least one does, sort of.

Professor John A. Carmichael, professor emeritus, Oncology, Obstretics and Gynaecology, at Queen's University wrote a letter to the Globe and Mail yesterday to take issue with my disparaging comments concerning Participaction.

Here's what he wrote:

Gerry Nicholls, vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition states: I don't think the state has a role in telling Canadians how to run their lives. If I want to be a couch potato and watch television all day long, that's my business. I don't think my tax dollars should be used to hector me, to nag me, into exercising."

Mr. Nicholls is dead wrong.

By choosing to be a "couch potato", he is, without question, dramatically increasing his chances of developing early-onset coronary-artery disease and other significant and expensive problems, the cost of which will be borne by the taxpayer.

I, and I am sure many others, would be quite prepared to support with our taxes a program that would encourage Mr. Nicholls to get off his butt to try and avoid these significant medical costs unless of course he is prepared to pay for his own agnioplasty or coronary bypass, and that aint cheap.

Of course I am touch by Dr. Carmichael's concern about my heart. But he misses my point. Government-run PR programs will never get me or my fellow Couch Potato collegues to get off our "butts".

They are a waste of money.

Secondly, yes maybe I would exercise if I had to pay for my own agnioplasty, but the fact is I won't.

We have a public health care system in this country and that means, like it or not, we have to subsidize the unhealthy lifestyles of our fellow countrymen -- including me.

Maybe, instead of worrying about my habits, Dr. Carmichael should worry more about the health care system.


Anonymous said...

It's really discouraging to see that educated individuals such as Dr. Carmichael adopt Marxist pragmatist philosphies in which the ends justify the means.

I suppose that the next logical step is for the government to issue approved weight limits for Canadians. Annually, citizens would be required to "weigh in" at an approved government facility. If the scale indicates that you exceed the government approved limit, you will be subject to a steep fine.

They could call it "paticextortion".

Brian said...

I got your back covered Gerry:

Gerry Nicholls said...

Brian -- You make some great points.

See the Globe tomorrow, they said they would print my retort to Dr. Carmichael in the Letters section.