The NHS will be forced to discriminate against the over 70s to meet ‘highly unethical’ UN health targets which seek to reduce premature deaths in younger people, senior medics have warned.That’s a surprise, isn’t it? That the NHS is being forced, I mean. Usually they are pretty happy to do it of their own free will!
Under the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, UN member states must cut the number of deaths from diseases like cancer, stroke, diabetes and dementia by one third by 2030.
However because many are age-related illnesses people who succumb to those diseases from the age of 70 are not deemed to have died prematurely and so are not included in the target./facepalm
Prof Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, professor of social policy and international development at the University of East Anglia, and lead author of the letter, said: “This premature mortality target is highly unethical, since it unjustifiably discriminates against older people.
“We already know that there is age discrimination in cancer care and surgery and these targets give that the stamp of approval.
“The targets are not quite set in stone yet, so we have a final opportunity to impress upon the UN the need to alter this explicitly ageist health target.
“If this doesn’t happen, people aged 70 and over will become second-class citizens as far as health policy is concerned.”I guess the trick will be to notice any discernable difference from current practice…
Although the guidelines are not binding, health experts warn that the UN is likely to take a dim view of countries who fail to comply.Indeed? Gosh. Does that mean a sternly-worded letter to the DoH?
In 2013, the Government introduced age discrimination laws which mean patients should not be denied procedures on grounds of age. Doctors are supposed to assess patients based on their fitness for an operation, and likely benefit from it.
A spokesman for the Department of health said: “It is wrong to deny people treatment just because of their age, which is why we made it illegal.
“Decisions on care should only ever be based on clinical need.”Yeah. And I’ve got a bridge to sell you.