Human Exceptionalism

We Are Bigoted Against the Old

How often have we heard our elderly brothers and sisters say they don’t want to be “a burden.” Who made them think such a thing? We did!

A great column in the Daily Mail by Stephen Glover indicts the UK culture for its blatant ageism–a condemnation that applies equally to the USA. From, “Why Today’s Elderly are Old Age Pariahs:”

It can scarcely be disputed that people in their 70s, 80s and 90s are increasingly made to feel they are part of a burdensome minority which is more or less surplus to requirement. What is particularly disturbing is that the kind of prejudice expressed recently by Jeremy Paxman — who said Britain has too many elderly people, and that there should be a Dignitas [the Swiss suicide] clinic ‘on every street corner’ — is now widely shared, particularly by the agencies of the State.

It’s an interesting reflection that if Paxo had said he hated Africans, the disabled or even the young, there would have been an uproar. But the elderly are easy game, and he can be rude about them with impunity. He may have been joking, but it was in poor taste to say the least — particularly given that only a few weeks earlier the House of Lords had debated Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill, which raises the prospect of overbearing relatives putting pressure on the elderly to do away with themselves for fear of being a burden.

President Obama said the elderly should often take pain pills instead of receiving curative care.

Meanwhile, the death pushers at Compassion and Choices promote suicide by self-starvation for the elderly–and are treated as a respectable patients rights group by the media and medical intelligentsia.

Glover is absolutely right: We are bigoted against the old. Shame on us!

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