The 5 stages of grief

An analysis of the political response to the health reforms using the Kübler-Ross model of grief. It usually applies to those grieving a lost loved one. In this case, I apply it to Lansley’s beloved reforms, and their impending death.

Denial“I feel fine.”; “This can’t be happening, not to me.” Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual.

Lansley denied that there was anything wrong with his reforms. He continued to believe the dodgy dossier of statistics despite sound rebuttals from the experts. The reforms didn’t really make Cameron’s radar either – funny that, considering how he summed up his priorities way back in 2006 in 3 letters (N H S). Clegg – well, most of the Lib Dems were quiet about if for quite some time.

Anger“Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?” Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.

‘It’s Labour’s fault! They started it! They started privatisation, and I’m not a manky codger!’ Hmm… so that makes it OK to continue? To continue privatising then Mr Lansley? Even though you keep banging on about how it’s not really privatisation? You can tell he got quite ticked off after a while. He told me personally that he thought the BMA were bizarre and brushed aside The Lancet as if it were some annoying buzzing mosquito. Well, mosquitoes can cause quite a lot of bad stuff, Mr Lansley (but you wouldn’t believe that because that’s what The Lancet says).  Dear oh dear. Dave was wise to let him him calm down after his tantrum before starting to set him straight.

Good grief Mr Lansley - you've really given me one heck of a headache this year.







Bargaining — “Just let me live to see my children graduate.”; “I’ll do anything for a few more years.”; “I will give my life savings if…” The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time…”

This is the stage that we’re at now. Clegg is negotiating with Lansley and Cameron, Norman Lamb is threatening to jump ship, and everyone’s started listening all of a sudden. They’ve realised that the reforms really are dying. Nobody’s going to really come running when the (train) crash calls are put out. This is a case of ‘do not attempt resuscitation’. Understandably, they want some time (2 months) to pause and reflect on the fact that the reforms just aren’t going to work. ‘Maybe we can fix them if we just change the wording a bit! That’ll do, just a little tinkering!’. No Mr Lansley, it’s too late, but we’ll humour you anyway.

Depression“I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die… What’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?” During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.

I’m not sure what this stage will look like. Maybe increasing paralysis for the whole government. When the general public get fed up with their meddling, and grand ideas of economic recovery by slashing everything. Pruning does help regrowth, but not when the buds have already started coming out, and not if you plan to uproot the whole thing!

Acceptance “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.” In this last stage, the individual begins to come to terms with his mortality or that of his loved one.

Go and resign now Mr Lansley. And you too Clegg and Cameron – watch those smirks on your faces. Don’t push your luck.


About James Chan

I am the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for The Green Party in the St Helens South and Whiston constituency. I grew up locally, before moving to Leeds in 2004 to study, and now work as an A&E doctor. I currently live in Eccleston, St Helens.
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One Response to The 5 stages of grief

  1. Pingback: The 5 stages of grief | Coalition of Resistance Against Cuts & Privatisation

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