Friends and family of Britain’s oldest dentist are claiming he is being discriminated against, after health officials urged 93-year-old Sidney Copeland to retire from dentistry due to his ‘extremely shaky hands and total loss of vision in both eyes.’
‘This is discrimination against the blind, pure and simple! I think that the way Dad keeps going is an inspiration to us all,’ said his son David, through a rather ill-fitting brace. ‘He is still out there, doing what he loves, and if these Brussels bureaucrats think they can stop him drilling, then they don’t know my dad!’
But campaigners for the elderly are distancing themselves from the 93 year old, who has continued to carry out complex dental work despite a number of complaints about wildly inaccurate drilling, massive loss of blood around the mouth and face and one incident in which a patient had a filling inserted into the middle of his forehead. ‘I’ve been doing this job so long, I know where all their teeth are anyway,’ chirped a cheerful Mr Copeland, who hopes to become the world’s oldest dentist. ‘You’ve got to keep going haven’t you? Dentistry is all I know!’
Under European law, dentists are required to pass an eye test to ensure the accuracy of their work, and regular checks ensure that dental surgeons meet the rigorous safety standards expected of the industry. The most recent inspection of Mr Copeland’s surgery reported grubby premises, the regular use of a Black and Decker drill and ‘dental tools not being washed after being used to scrape cat meat out of the tin’.
But an anti-EU campaign on Mr Copeland’s behalf by the Daily Mail fell away as a number of former patients complained that the elderly dentist had caused them immense pain, distress and disfigurement, and that his determination to keep working till he turns 100 takes no account of the fact that he regularly drills through patients’ front teeth, chins and on one occasion, their shoulder blade.
‘The Brussels bureaucrats have gone mad!’ declared Mr Copeland. ‘Is this what we want – some busy-body in Belgium telling us we can’t drill people’s teeth just because he doesn’t happen to pass the latest blindness test that they’ve just dreamed up?’
‘You tell them Dad!’ said his son, who then broke off his press conference to pick up some pieces of teeth that had fallen onto the carpet.