Is obeying the law bad for your health?

(With apologies to Private Eye’s A Doctor)

As a doctor I’m often asked: Is obeying the law bad for you? The short answer is yes and no. This handy symptom-checker can help you to decide whether a short course of flouting could work for you or would do more harm than good.

Are you experiencing difficulty passing constitutional solids? Is all the pushing and grunting getting you nowhere, leaving you exhausted and embarrassed and making everyone else a bit fed-up?

Do those close to you worry about the amount of time you spend with your trousers round your ankles?

Is your desire to “open the rear bomb doors over Brussels” alienating your loved ones or taking a toll on your mental health?

Have you tried proroguing Parliament, calling for a general election or threatening to die in a ditch?

If none of these traditional remedies is working, you may need something stronger. I sometimes prescribe a controlled dose of disobedience. Few things have such a liberating effect on the bowels. Only lying to the monarch comes close.

Helping yourself

Breaking the law can provide immediate relief, but it’s not for everyone.

You should only try it if

  • You’re the prime minister
  • You’ve run out of ideas
  • Dominic Cummings says it’s OK
  • You have a large supply of capable underpants.

Possible complications include loss of credibility, long-term constitutional damage, food, fuel and medicines shortages and civil unrest. But you need to weigh these against the health benefits of traditional values, ration books and powdered egg.

The important thing to remember is that no two cases are the same or, as I like to put it, it’s one rule for you and another for everyone else.

In the right circumstances breaking the law may be effective, particularly if the individual has built up a resistance to the truth, has tried everything else or has a history of doing as he likes.

The evidence suggests that for most “ordinary” people, it normally results in loss of mobility and a spell of remedial treatment at one of Her Majesty’s long-stay clinics.

Always seek advice from your GP if you’re thinking about taking the law into your own hands.

Health editor: Julian Patterson

julian.patterson
@NHSnetworks

Reproduced at TrainingPrimaryCare.com by kind permission of Julian Patterson.