I arrived at the Discussion Group just before their meeting began in order to ask permission from the group leader, Peter Davidson, to write this article and also to return later in the evening for a group photo. Members started arriving whilst I was there and from another room I could hear the sound of a cork popping and the familiar sound of liquid being poured; I peered in and could see the group members were already enjoying a glass of wine (perhaps this helps loosen their tongues). When I returned over an hour later they were sitting with cups of coffee and on the table a delicious looking, freshly made fruit loaf of some kind; I learnt that homemade cakes are a feature of this group.
But what happens in between these refreshments?
Peter started the Discussion Group some 3-4 years ago and chooses a topic that he hopes will be controversial and stimulate thought and exchange of views. The topic is known to members beforehand so they can, if they wish, research facts and prepare for the discussion. Rarely does the discussion get overheated but it has been known to have its ‘enthusiastic’ moments.
This month the topic was ‘Does the NHS have a duty to treat all people even if their affliction is self imposed, ie by drug use, drink in excess or gross obesity, if they will not accept help?’ I should think we all have views on this, as did the Discussion Group. They discussed various problems and difficulties arising form the topic question and referred to the relevance of the NHS Acts. Opinions varied and there were no clear answers to the question posed
Other topics have included ‘Is democracy failing’ (quite a heavy subject), ‘Is Britain relevant in this day and age? and ‘Should narcotic drugs be legalised?’ – a challenging selection.