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Rocketing healthcare demands are not currently paralleled by available economic resources and the fight against inappropriateness has had only a modest impact. Distribution equilibrium is afforded by various concealed and unconcealed filters to access, including waiting lists, and rationing. Age related rationing (better known as agism), is one of the most widespread forms and is cause for ethical and professional concern.1 At a time when everyone is verbally in favour of a patient oriented partnership, we decided to consult the public about health resource allocation, addressing the issue from an elderly perspective.2 Indeed, evidence on elderly attitudes towards this question is virtually non-existent.
We developed a brief questionnaire and organised a household survey in an elderly population, randomly selected from the residents aged 65 or over from central Padua, Italy. Several doctors and psychologists were carefully trained …