As I’m sure you’re aware, Beyond the Bedpan loves nothing more than to look down our nose at people. We’re naturally suspicious. So the recommendation that nurses and midwives give breath tests to pregnant women to check if they’re lying about smoking seems highly sensible to us.
Some people seemed concerned that this might make the women feel “guilty” but we think rightly so. Women know that smoking while pregnant will harm their baby but do it anyway. They should be made to feel bad about it. And if they’re going to lie to the midwife about it then they must be found out.
Actually, we’re not sure that this guidance goes far enough. If they’re lying about smoking then who knows what else they’re up to in the privacy of their own homes? Drinking? Eating prawns? Wearing high heels? We need tests for all of these things immediately if not sooner.
In fact why stop at testing pregnant women. Why not test everyone for everything. Having trouble losing weight despite that diet? We’ll check your pie consumption and send you away red-faced when our results show you cracked and ate half a steak and kidney last Tuesday. Want a hip replacement? We’ll make sure you’re going to use it properly by fitting you with a pedometer for a year.
After all, why talk to patients about their health when you can check for yourself? Sod offering advice, support and looking at the root causes of the problem first; we’ve got a breathalyser and we’re not afraid to use it.