the old man's friend

the old man's friend

Terminal care A popular term for pneumonia in elderly Pts with strokes or other debilitating illness, which allows them the dignity of a quiet death, often while asleep. See Euthanasia, Pneumonia.
References in periodicals archive ?
Still, that must be considered short-term pain for long-term gain if I can now laugh in the face of "the old man's friend" when pneumonia next beats a path to my door.
"The Benevolent Doorman": because, growing up, I'd heard you say//"Pneumonia is the old man's friend."//I recognized him/when he came for you.
Swine flu may turn out to be the old man's friend" - Reported remark by philosopher Baroness Warnock, who has said that in certain circumstances people should be given help to die.