A neighbour of ours, self-isolating and with poor lung function, has twice been telephoned recently by the medical authorities. After pleasant preliminaries about her health, both callers muttered something about ‘If the worst happened and you did become ill’. So she cut through: ‘Are we getting round to DNR [Do Not Resuscitate]?’ They admitted as much. My neighbour told them she did want to be resuscitated.
Yes, medics might want to know these preferences, but is it right to chase old people living compulsorily alone? It casts a chill, as does the waiter who stands over you and says: ‘Have you finished yet?’
This article is an extract from Charles Moore's Spectator Notes, available in this week's magazine