Our data show that survival times in elderly patients can be achieved, which justify the strain of the therapy on the patient, the medical effort and financial expense. It is therefore not justifiable to withhold dialysis from a person who requires it on the basis of age. It is also wrong to reduce the therapeutic endeavours to a minimum and describe these then as 'kinder' to the patient. It is to be feared that such a treatment regimen leads to a shorter survival time and simultaneously to a decreased quality of life. Particularly in view of the person's advanced age, it would seem that we are obligated to treat them with the highest quality care so that the remaining time is not only extended, but is filled with life.