I agree that many nurses, students and qualified, strive to maintain a professional attitude and bearing. However, I find it somewhat naive to say that because we are nurses we do not discriminate. At the end of the day, we are all human and, through our life experience, will have developed prejudices, biases and preferences - not necessarily to the extent that we are, for example, overtly racist or homophobic, but enough that we make judgements to some degree. As nurses and reflective practitioners, we should be empowered to recognise and acknowledge our prejudices. Through reflection, we come to understand how they impact on our practice and we can modify our behaviour and attitudes accordingly.
We have a duty to not only challenge our own prejudices but to educate and inspire others. For those that find this article insulting, although we are all nominally 'professionals', i would suggest that some are more professional than others and there are those who perhaps need a little more guidance and support in achieving the desired level in their practice.
Comment on: Fat ban could save 40000 lives
I feel that that is also a key part of the issue - the NHS providing 'free' health care. The idea and indeed ideals of the NHS are well-founded but it would seem that they are becoming less and less sustainable.
Although issues such as obesity and alcohol or drug misuse are important not least of all economically, the fact is that people are living longer through a wide range of interventions. The aging population is in itself an issue. What about those who are subject to a condition through old age? Should they be entitled to expensive treatment having already drawn a pension for years?
Is it time to look at additional means of providing health care?
Even as a student nurse, I have a duty to provide care in a non-judgemental fashion. People do have choices in life but sometimes it is between a rock and a hard place.