Don’t treat the old and unhealthy, say doctors *

London Telegraph
28.01.2008
By Laura Donnelly

Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives. [emphasis mine]

Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone. [emphasis mine]

The findings of a survey conducted by Doctor magazine sparked a fierce row last night, with the British Medical Association and campaign groups describing the recommendations from family and hospital doctors as “outĀ­rageous” and “disgraceful”.

Among the survey of 870 family and hospital doctors, almost 60 per cent said the NHS could not provide full healthcare to everyone…

One in three said that elderly patients should not be given free treatment…

Tony Calland, chairman of the BMA’s ethics committee, said it would be “outrageous” to limit care on age grounds. Age Concern called the doctors’ views “disgraceful”.

Gordon Brown promised this month that a new NHS constitution would set out people’s “responsibilities” as well as their rights…

Katherine Murphy, from the Patients’ Association, said it would be wrong to deny treatment because of a “lifestyle” factor.

The survey found that medical professionals wanted to go much further in denying care to patients who do not look after their bodies.

Paul Mason, a GP in Portland, Dorset, said there were good clinical reasons for denying surgery to some patients.

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One commenter said, “This is precisely why we must get rid of the NHS. It is no longer a public service but has become another power-block in the Brown regime, a socio-political organisation which in true totalitarian style, is allowed to exercise control over the very people who pay for it.”

A commenter brought up this point, “That’s a fantastic tyrannical plan, attack the people with polices, don’t ban big business health risk foods that have MSG, Aspartame (in diet drinks), Fluoride, and so on. It only gives their unwitting victims obesity, brain tumors and bone diseases. Well done UK, an example for the EU to follow (which they will).”

Another commenter wrote the following, “The outrageous suggestion that elderly should not be treated is worthy of Hitler and Stalin, whose well known kind and compassionate natures led them to lay down who were and who were not human beings. Who are the elderly? To save money they could be defined as anyone reaching pension age (now 65, later to be 70).”

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