In a surprising turn of events, Katie Hopkins has made some more controversial comments on Twitter and is now facing one helluva backlash.
Dementia patients (or ‘bed blockers’, in her words) were on Katie’s hit list this time, and her comments have been branded ‘disgraceful’ by Alzheimer’s Society.
The day that Katie says something that ISN’T controversial is the day we’ll give up chocolate. Seriously.
The loudmouth caused controversy when she took to Twitter to describe those who suffer from dementia as ‘bed blockers’, hinting that they’re ‘better off dead’.
The 40-year-old wrote: “Dementia sufferers should not be blocking beds.
“What is the point of life when you no longer know you are living it? Bang me over the head. The day I am diagnosed with dementia is the day I book my ticket to Dignitas.
“Ultimately, if your family member is in hospital with dementia because you are not caring for them – you have no right to be outraged.”
However, Alzheimer’s Society have now spoken out to condemn Katie’s views, labelling them ‘disgraceful’ and ‘ill-informed’.
George McNamara, head of policy and public affairs at the charity, said: “These disgraceful remarks only serve to reinforce the stigma that sadly prevents many people with dementia from feeling like valued members of society.
“Ill-informed comments such as these go against all that we know about dementia. People with the condition tell us that with the right support it is entirely possible to live well and take real enjoyment out of daily life.
“The 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK deserve far more than to be used as bait by people stoking controversy.”
Hilary Evans, director of external affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK, added: “Katie Hopkins should be ashamed at her comments.
Views such as these reinforce misunderstanding of dementia and show just how much work there is still to do in changing harmful perceptions of the condition.
“People who have been diagnosed with dementia still face an unacceptable level of stigma and social isolation as a result of their condition, and we need much greater awareness about the reality of life with dementia.
“All too often dementia is talked about in negative terms, and we must challenge the feeling of hopelessness that surrounds the condition.”
Still, the criticism hasn’t fazed Katie, whose Twitter is business as usual as she retweets both those supporting her views and those who don’t.
She also faced a challenge from Robbie Savage, who debated the issue with Phil Williams on BBC Radio 5 live and said he was ‘mortified’ by Katie’s comments.
Robbie, whose father Colin died aged 63 after battling dementia, said: “I spoke to my mother, my mother’s in tears.”I’ve been in tears tonight because I lost my hero, my father from a disease which people know nothing about. Going on Twitter to vent some stupid naive comment beggars belief. I’m mortified.”
He added he would not have wanted his father to be euthanised as he could still recognise his family.
However, Katie then revealed she had signed an advance directive permitting euthanasia should she fall critically ill.
She explained: “If I don’t know who my children are, if I don’t know my own name, if I can’t go to the bathroom, if I can’t look after myself, I don’t want to be kept alive.
“I’m privileged and proud to know that my advance directive is signed and that when the time comes I will take myself off, I will pop off and I will not be a burden to my children. We’re different people Robbie. We have to accept that.”
Looks like this debate could carry on for some time.
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