Lord Faulkener’s Bill only passed its second reading in the House of Lords in July this year. This Pandora’s coffin has been opened and now the elderly must face the consequences. Furthermore they may not even have to wait until the Bill reaches the legislation stage.
The subject of assisted dying is no longer taboo. A cardiologist in Heart of England Hospital in Birmingham has been widely reported as advocating allowing more elderly people to die, particularly if they have a heart attack, they should not be resuscitated. This may sound reasonable, especially when his experience is that only 5% of elderly people leave hospital after being resuscitated.
The problem is where does it stop? If resuscitation is denied to older people, why not withhold Cancer treatment? Why give any life prolonging drugs to older people? It is potentially, even probably, a waste of money?
Withholding treatment is the unspoken simple way of allowing assisted suicide. No second doctor needed. No patient consent. Not even a Bill in the House of Lords.