It’s not only older people who are being visited at home and asked where they want to die and whether they want to be resuscitated in a health crisis.

Young people with a normal life expectancy who have a physical or cognitive impairment are being asked the same thing, though they are more likely to be visited by social workers and care managers than nurses.

Ros, an executive with the Through the Roof charity, says that her daughter is one of those affected.

She said, ‘They are made to feel that their lives are more disposable or less valuable than those of their non-disabled peers. I think it is an outrage.’

Ros started a petition in a private capacity as a mother. It is being promoted by Through the Roof in some of their literature.

This exercise has several worrying aspects. A very disturbing question is being asked of people who are sensitive to feeling a burden because their disabilities or frailty means that they need help with their daily acts of living.

Simply thinking about the answer can arouse all sorts of negative emotions, including guilt, fear, worthlessness and anxiety.It’s a question that should only be asked by someone who knows the person well, and in the appropriate circumstances.

The aim of the exercise is to keep vulnerable people out of hospital, and at some point the answers will be fed into a computer and analysed. There will inevitably be many who have said that they would not wish to be resuscitated. These could very well be fodder for the euthanasia lobby who can produce the data as marginal evidence to government that tens of thousands of people are in broad agreement with them.

To sign Ros’s petition go to https://www.change.org/p/health-secretary-stop-asking-families-of-disabled-young-people-to-discuss-do-not-resuscitate-directives

To register an objection to older people being asked by District Nurses, email your local Member of Parliament.

The lives of disabled young people and frail older people have been planned by God. No-one is here by accident – we’re all part of His plan, and each individual is precious to Him.

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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