Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.
Fertility treatment and “social” abortions are also on the list of procedures that many doctors say should not be funded by the state.
The findings of a survey conducted by Doctor magazine sparked a fierce row last night, with the British Medical Association and campaign groups describing the recommendations from family and hospital doctors as “outrageous” and “disgraceful”.
Managers defend the policies because of the higher risk of complications on the operating table for unfit patients. But critics believe that patients are being denied care simply to save money
The Government announced plans last week to offer fat people cash incentives to diet and exercise as part of a desperate strategy to steer Britain off a course that will otherwise see half the population dangerously overweight