iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Obesity Surgery

Listen now 45 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Obesity Surgery

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 03 August 2010

Joan Bakewell is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the ethical dilemmas faced by a surgeon.

The UK's obesity epidemic is out of control. More and more patients want weight loss surgery and the NHS struggles to meet their needs.

Many obese people believe they don't stand a chance of an operation on the NHS and seek what they think of as the quick fix of weight loss surgery at a private clinic.

But surgery doesn't suit everyone - it requires life changing commitment from the patient.

When things go wrong, many ask the NHS for help. The surgeon knows that each time he treats these patients, he denies others on the NHS waiting list.

What should he do? What is the most ethical way to prioritise treatment?

Producer: Beth Eastwood.


Explore ethics in more depth with The Open University

Open University Promo for Inside the Ethics Comittee

Find out what the OU experts think about the ethical dilemmas.


  1. Image for Inside the Ethics Committee

    Inside the Ethics Committee

    In Inside the Ethics Committee, Joan Bakewell presents real life medical cases to a panel of…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss