The plain speaking has started and it’s not very nice.
BMA: Let patients die 'to save cash'
Published on Saturday 25 June 2011 13:55
THE leader of Scotland's doctors has questioned whether society can afford to pay thousands of pounds to keep terminally-ill people alive for weeks or months when health service budgets are under unprecedented strain.
Dr Brian Keighley, chairman of the British Medical Association Scotland, said in some cases tens of thousands of pounds were spent on drugs to extend cancer patients' lives for relatively short periods.
Speaking ahead of his organisation's annual meeting, the GP said the country had to debate the merits of these kinds of aggressive treatments and the effects they had on the NHS budget. But he stressed any decision had to be made at a society level, rather than being left to doctors.
Patient groups are concerned that many cancer treatments are being rationed by the NHS because they are deemed too expensive.