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Don’t treat the old and unhealthy, say doctors

January 27, 2008

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.

  Smoker - Don't treat the old and unhealthy, say doctors
£1.7 billion is spent treating diseases caused by smoking, such as lung cancer and emphysema

Fertility treatment and “social” abortions are also on the list of procedures that many doctors say should not be funded by the state.

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 “out­rageous” and “disgraceful”.


As it happens, Sue and I were discussing this yesterday evening. We couldn’t agree. I thought that any reasonably affluent society with a health service had an obligation to treat injured or sick citizens. Would you rule out sportsmen with resultant injuries?

Where do you stand? Add your thoughts here or use the link on The Telegraph’s page from which the article comes: here

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 27, 2008 9:49 pm

    Not only it is morally wrong but it is also unethical to treat only the healthy citizens. This is not a way to reduce the costs of the health care service. Physicians are a special caste, but this does not put them in the position to decide who does or does not deserve free medical care. They take the Hippocratic oath – the promise that doctors make to respect the moral principles of the medical profession – meaning that they promise to help, not to ignore!

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