Former government adviser says over-90s shouldn’t be ‘clogging’ hospitals

By WND Staff

A former British government official says people older than 90 should not be “clogging” the hospital system amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The remark by professor Sir David King, who was the chief scientific adviser under prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, drew an immediate rebuke from the the U.K.’s Christian Institute.

“The elderly and vulnerable can often feel uncertain about whether their lives are still worth living and fear becoming a burden to those close to them,” said Ciarán Kelly, deputy director for communications for the organization.

“All human beings are made in the image of God and have a special, intrinsic, value regardless of how old or able-bodied that life might be,” he said. “People should not be valued purely in terms of their benefit to others or what society gains from their existence.”

The Telegraph of London reported King was urging “frail, elderly people to consider refusing hospital treatment” because “their chances of survival were slim.”

“I think it’s fair to ask people in the region of 90 or 95 years old to think twice before going into hospital under the present circumstances,” King told the Telegraph. “At the very least, they should be consulting their GP before making that decision.

“In many cases, [they are] unlikely to come out of hospital once they go in,” he said. “And of course there is a risk that you are overburdening the NHS. We really don’t want 90-year-olds clogging up hospitals at this critical time.”

King, 80, also charged the government was late in reacting to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If we’d acted earlier, we might have been out of the current situation much sooner,” he said.

The Christian Institute wasn’t the only group critical of his position.

Ruthe Isden of Age UK, a charity that promotes the interests of older people, said the remarks were unhelpful.

“Using someone’s age is a very easy way for people to make decisions, but it’s not the right way. People’s health varies hugely at the same age – you might see a 90-year-old running a marathon, for example.”

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