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Re: Driving licences was [IPk] hospitals, sliding scales etc

Crikey - pulling your punches tonight, Tony :-)

>We all know that driving with a severe hypo would be irresponsible, and most
>of us even during a hypo would still be fully aware of this, or no longer
>physically able to drive a car. Hence, if we are otherwise fully fit and
>able drivers, why shouldn't it be left up to our own responsibility, just as
>is the case with alcohol?

I've changed my view on this in the last year. Why? Because I had my first
ever severe unexpected daytime hypo in 24 years. It was at 70mph in the
fast lane of a motorway last June. My foot went rigid on the accelerator,
and I was lucky to survive.

I'd always had good hypo awareness, so left to my own judgement of course I
would declare myself safe to drive. But after this event, I was very unsure
as to whether I should be driving. I've since discussed it with my diabetes
consultant - he's happy if I'm happy. Hmmm. And I'm happy if I set my bg
target to 10 on a stressful long journey, and test every hour without fail.

But I can only appreciate the need for it because I have already had a bad
hypo behind the wheel of a car. It's terrifying. It's also intensely
humiliating. (Is that the real issue here?)

>Has a single major road accident been prevented by such a ruling? I doubt
>it. I am well aware that Diabetes UK considers the UK authorities to have
>interpreted EU legislation with excessive gusto, hence the situation you
>find yourselves in. Other EU countries don't do this, and whatever you may
>all think about lax legislation in Ireland, it's also possible that it is
>the UK that has got this one wrong!

Deaths on the road in Germany are twice as high (per passenger km) as in
Britain, and in Austria 3x as high. So something is being done right in
Britain. We certainly have better motorways than the Germans, and have
motorway speed limits.

And I have read (was it in Balance?) that some research suggests that
people with diabetes have fewer car accidents than people without diabetes.
Why? Because they take more care. (And they also make better employees.)

>As a doctor, I could not make the judgement that any person using insulin
>will or won't have hypos. Do I exclude busy people in their twenties with
>less ordered lives, or people trying to achieve excellent control, or users
>of high-tech devices like pumps? To ask any doctor to do this is a nonsesne,
>and exposes people with diabetes to error, misinterpretation and individual
>preference on the part of the doctor. All are inequitable.

I dare say. But isn't that what a doctor does? Makes balanced decisions
based on available evidence? If someone is having terrible trouble with
hypo unawareness, you would advise them to stop driving until the diabetes
is stabilised.

I feel on balance that I approve of having a diabetes professional assess
my general safety to drive, rather than letting me do it myself.


Why don't they put some grip under these scales that keep sliding in the
hospitals? Someone could slip...

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