Sunday, 7 August 2011

A politically incorrect final solution for Britain’s growing elderly population

The BBC has reminded us this week that today's 20-year-olds are three times more likely to live to 100 than their grandparents and twice as likely as their parents.

And a baby born in 2011 is almost eight times more likely to reach its 100th birthday than one born 80 years ago. A girl born this year has a one-in-three chance of reaching 100 years old and boys have a one-in-four chance.

By 2066 there will be half a million people aged over 100.

No wonder that with the sum of UK public and private debt reaching £3 trillion by 2014 the Department for Work and Pensions is worried.

In the West we have a growing elderly population supported by a smaller and smaller working population – fuelled by elderly people living longer and an epidemic of abortion, infertility and small families.

Sunday Times journalist Minette Marin’s proposed ‘final solution’ for Britain’s growing number of elderly people is euthanasia.

And unless something is done to reverse current demographic trends, economic necessity, together with the ‘culture of death’ ideology which is becoming more openly accepted, is bound to lead to many more calling for the elderly to ‘do the decent thing’.

But to put our extravagant overspending in perspective, the world’s poorest billion people earn less than £1 per day (£360 per year) and the next poorest two billion earn less than £2 (£720) so the total income for the poorest half of the world’s population is £1,800 billion per year – just over half our nation’s total debt.

And yet ironically, it is rich people in the affluent West, rather than the poor in the Global South, who say they can’t afford to look after their dependents.

There is a solution other than euthanasia for Britain’s growing elderly population but it is not politically correct.

We need instead to stop killing our children, build up our families, live more simply, give more generously, save more for the future and stop eating, drinking, smoking, drugging and slothing ourselves to disease, dependency and death.

Then we need to focus our priorities on providing for our dependents, especially the older generation which fought for our freedom in two world wars, provided for our health, education and welfare, and left us the legacy of wealth, comfort, peace and security which we are now squandering.

4 comments:

  1. Abortion leading to euthanasia - a nice little earner!

    I promise that I will never "do the decent thing".

    I am not anonymous, but Chris Wright (Left-footer.blogspot) and Google won't let me sign in to comment.

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  2. or make people work longer.

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  3. A very Nazi solution. Why is Hitler not recognized as a pioneer, and a prophetic voice for the 21st century? There should be a statue of him erected.

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  4. Interesting indeed, Christian medical ethics is not really my forte, but I was for seven years a palliative care social worker – and before have experience of working with people with chronic disabilities and people with dementia. Having worked in hands on cancer and end of life care and with disabled people and people with dementia I find the media – and particularly the Christian media (usually with a right of centre bias) insinuations and descriptions of the ‘push’ for euthanasia, at best a gross over simplification of complex fact; and at worst an hysterical and devious attempt to solicit outrage and concern about a problem that doesn’t exist – or if it does it is so peripheral to most people experience of chronic illness, dementia or long term disability as to be insignificant.

    A case in point are the words of ‘wisdom’ from the Bishop of Tonbridge reported by Anglicanmainstream: ‘The Rt Rev Brian Castle, Bishop of Tonbridge, said many people are no longer willing to submit to the “mystery” of death and instead try to control it through assisted suicide.’ Given the number of people in the UK who have committed assisted suicide is tiny, I think it is difficult to take our episcopal friend seriously when hyperbole seems his preferred means of discussing such a difficult subject.

    The real issue, which you may be able to help me with, is the fact although there is much talk of the ending of life – in effect doctors playing ‘God’; there seems less enthusiasm to talk of doctors playing God when it comes to prolonging life. I well remember a ward meeting where the patient under discussion was an 84 year old woman with vulva cancer, coming in for umpteen fractions of radiotherapy – we were discussing her case because she had moderate dementia and had become something of a problem on the ward (a ward full of people receiving treatment for cancer). Personally I thought it cruel to put her through the treatment - she couldn’t remember why she had to have some strangers fiddling around her groin several times a day, was sore and ill because of the effects of the radiotherapy and couldn’t remember why, she was in a strange place that didn’t help her confusion and she disturbed other patients wandering around half the night and thus found herself abused by . What would be the outcome of her treatment – she’d probably live a little longer, a little longer to mentally deteriorate and have a shadow of a life. There is a time to live and a time to die and sometimes I think it is just as immoral to prolong life as to end it. To that end both my parents and partner have discussed end of life care and we all have agreed that a living will is necessary to stop the artificial prolonging of life.

    Hence I think ‘life at any cost’ is also a departure from Christian thinking and how we have arrived (as seems so often the case with Christianity in Britain continuing to veer right of centre) at this foolish polemic is sad indeed. I have worked in residential and nursing care and seen homes filled with people who are so demented that their lives have no quality. Pumping such souls full of antibiotics when they have a chest infection or continuing heart medication seems to me just as immoral as abortion; it is playing God.

    My niece called me last week to wish me ‘happy birthday’ – it is also her grandmother’s 99th birthday the day after mine and so I asked how she was (not my mother, who at 85 is hearty and hale). My niece told me her gran hadn’t recognised her for a decade and now didn’t recognise her own children. She was no longer her ‘gran’; but a mere husk of the woman she was, now long gone. That isn’t life and if it was my mother, I would request she didn’t receive a flu jab each year and that any infection shouldn’t be treated with antibiotics. Yes, this is passive euthanasia, but I think it is necessary to regain the dignity of life and death.

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