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Letter: Driving on insulin – what is Diabetes UK’s policy?

Rosie Walker, Jill Rodgers

We would like to support the points made in Marie Snell’s letter ‘Driving on insulin’, published recently in the Journal of Diabetes Nursing (Snell, 2002).

As far as we are aware, a major policy of Diabetes UK has been to resist blanket bans on the activities or work opportunities of people with diabetes. In fact, it has been very successful with some driving issues, when legislation threatened to remove the right of those on insulin to drive certain size vehicles. It seems bizarre, therefore, that Diabetes UK is now apparently publicly endorsing a ban on driving for those newly taking insulin. Recent articles in Diabetic Medicine, the journal of Diabetes UK, have made no mention of the safety or otherwise of driving at this time (Gill et al, 2002; Mansell, 2002). We assume, therefore, that no evidence exists to suggest that driving is contraindicated at the start of insulin therapy.

Our working lives are currently engaged, in part, in trying to ‘demystify’ insulin treatment and initiation, and to break down ‘psychological insulin resistance’ among health professionals. We believe that the more straightforward the process of starting insulin, the better are the opportunities for promoting self-management, which is, or should be, the principal aim of education.

Certain specific situations apart, learning to live with insulin therapy is, in our view, only possible if it is integrated into everyday activities from the start.  For most people, as Marie clearly points out, driving is an everyday, indispensable activity.

We urge the Journal to seek and publish a response from Diabetes UK.

We would like to support the points made in Marie Snell’s letter ‘Driving on insulin’, published recently in the Journal of Diabetes Nursing (Snell, 2002).

As far as we are aware, a major policy of Diabetes UK has been to resist blanket bans on the activities or work opportunities of people with diabetes. In fact, it has been very successful with some driving issues, when legislation threatened to remove the right of those on insulin to drive certain size vehicles. It seems bizarre, therefore, that Diabetes UK is now apparently publicly endorsing a ban on driving for those newly taking insulin. Recent articles in Diabetic Medicine, the journal of Diabetes UK, have made no mention of the safety or otherwise of driving at this time (Gill et al, 2002; Mansell, 2002). We assume, therefore, that no evidence exists to suggest that driving is contraindicated at the start of insulin therapy.

Our working lives are currently engaged, in part, in trying to ‘demystify’ insulin treatment and initiation, and to break down ‘psychological insulin resistance’ among health professionals. We believe that the more straightforward the process of starting insulin, the better are the opportunities for promoting self-management, which is, or should be, the principal aim of education.

Certain specific situations apart, learning to live with insulin therapy is, in our view, only possible if it is integrated into everyday activities from the start.  For most people, as Marie clearly points out, driving is an everyday, indispensable activity.

We urge the Journal to seek and publish a response from Diabetes UK.

REFERENCES:

Gill G, Durston J, Johnson R, MacLeod K, Watkins P (2002) Insulin-treated diabetes and driving in the UK. Diabetic Medicine 19(6): 435–9
Mansell P (2002) Diabetes and driving. Diabetic Medicine 19(8): 617–18
Snell M (2002) Driving on insulin. Journal of Diabetes Nursing 6(5): 136

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