Intended for healthcare professionals


NICE guidelines create ethical dilemmas in care of elderly people, says report

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 18 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:791
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. London

    A report that looks at problems affecting elderly people around the world has warned that the United Kingdom's policy of prescribing drugs on the grounds of cost effectiveness is damaging the human rights of older people.

    The report, by the International Longevity Centre, warns that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has created “new ethical dilemmas about allocation of scarce resources” for older people.

    It says, “Prescribing drugs according to cost effectiveness may be the opposite of the rights based approach: decisions can condemn patients to deteriorate before the drug will be prescribed, as is the case with Aricept [donepezil] for …

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