Age discrimination should be made illegal

November 18, 1999

Ageism in cardiology

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Legislation may be required to end ageism argues Professor Ann Bowling in this week's BMJ. In her paper, which is to be presented at a conference called 'Medicine in an Ageing Society' on Tuesday 23 November, Professor Bowling writes that the rates of use of potentially life saving and enhancing treatments decline as patients get older. She argues that clinical discrimination against older patients is based on ageism within society as a whole. There is also little evidence to support the treatment of older people because people aged 65 years and older have been largely excluded from research trials to determine clinical effectiveness, says Bowling, which contributes to older people not being treated equitably.

She says that clinical guidelines should be developed to enable clinicians to make more informed decisions about treating older people and concludes by advocating the enactment of an age discrimination act which would render older people less likely to suffer discrimination.
-end-
Contact:

Professor Ann Bowling, Professor of Health Services Research, Research Unit on Ageing and Population Studies, Royal Free and University College London Medical School, London Tel: 44-171-288-5209 (not available on Friday 19 Nov)
Email: a.bowling@chime.ucl.ac.uk

BMJ

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