In their recent paper “Is selective lockdown of the elderly (and other high-risk groups) justified discrimination?” Savulescu and Cameron attempt to argue the case for subjecting the‘elderly’ to limits not imposed on other generations. We argue that selective lockdown of the elderly is unnecessary and cruel, as well as discriminatory, and that this group may suffer more than others in similar circumstances. Further, it constitutes an unjustifiable deprivation of liberty.


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

Cite as

Lawrence, D. & Harris, J. 2021, 'Red Herrings, Circuit-Breakers and Ageism in the Covid-19 debate', Journal of Medical Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2020-107115

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 17 June 2022
Was this page helpful?