Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Example of this media campaign

The BBC does not disappoint! This article is absolutely scandalous for a number of reasons. The headline is 'Doctors 'deny elderly treatments' , but the article is merely saying that doctors treat elderly patients differently to younger patients.

What's so wrong with that? If this so called journalist actually had any knowledge of medicine then he may have known that there is an abundance of evidence that backs up treating the elderly differently to the young! In fact geriatric specialists spend a career learning about the differences and hence the specialty exists.

If doctors were meant to treat the young and old the same, what is the point in having the specialties of 'geriatrics' and 'gerontology'! What is the point in having 'paediatrics' by the same logic? Surely we are 'discriminating' here too? Well maybe children are different and this merits different treatment to take this into account. Obviously this journalist was just not informed enough to know this, and he has jumped to the conclusion that this practice is 'ageism'!

Perhaps I'm just a class A idiot and it is scandalous 'ageism' at work here. I doubt it though. Here are just a few examples from the scientific literature that show there is significant evidence as to why elderly patients are treated differently:

The bottom line is the elderly patient are entirely different physiological entities to their younger counterparts and should be treated by their doctor as the complex individual circumstances indicate.

"Doctors should be talking to patients about the options open to them." This smacks of someone who has no experience of geriatric medicine at all. Elderly patients often want their doctor to tell them what to do and may even refuse being given 'their options'.

Discrimination? These idiots need to go and look up the word in the damn dictionary. If there is scientific evidence that people should be treated differently for various reasons, then this is not discrimination- it's bloody well good medical practice.

I will email the BBC about this, as it is shoddy lazy low quality hacking and it is not good enough.

(ps the beeb also presents the case that the NHS IT project is being unfairly criticised! funny how they love to present the government's side of the story without fail, while ignoring the bulk of opinion that think it is doomed)

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