The over-75s are being asked if they would like to sign their own death warrants

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It’s more than four months now since my 75th birthday, but I’m still waiting for a ‘cold call’ from the NHS to ask if I have ‘thought about resuscitation’. This is what the Daily Mail warned me last week that anyone over 75 might now receive. As it so happens, I do quite often think about resuscitation, though only in the sense that I would like to be somehow revived when I fall asleep at my desk. But the Mail was talking about something different: NHS guidelines by which doctors are required to ask their elderly patients if they would like to be resuscitated when they suffered a heart attack or a stroke or other such life-threatening events. The paper was spluttering with indignation over this ‘extraordinary new guidance’, quoting ‘medical professionals’ as saying that it was ‘blatantly wrong’ and would frighten the elderly into thinking they were being ‘written off’. It mentioned particularly the shock felt by patients, visiting their medical centre for a routine check-up, at being suddenly confronted with a question about whether or not they would like to be left to die.

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