It has been tossed around several times on the forum, and invariably someone pipes up that the WTS will never do it because of the adverse effects on the numbers. There is a glaring flaw in that reasoning.
The inactive are NEVER counted as publishers. The numbers that are reported are of active, reporting publishers.
If they disassociate every single person who is inactive and refuses to reactivate themselves, the numbers will not be negatively affected at all. Rather, it will likely have an initial positive impact on the numbers because many will reactivate just to avoid being cut off from family/friends.
I sense that preliminary steps are being taken now to bring this change forward. The WTS will be able to say, "Lovingly, we were moved by holy spirit to adopt a policy whereby elders specifically reached out to such ailing ones to offer assistance. But the time that has passed is sufficient, and those who have taken a stand separate from the spirit-directed organization must choose."
A six-month process, like the smoking ban, should be sufficient to satisfy even the most compassionate JW. Then the axe will fall.
So I ask, why not? What is the downside for them in this course? I don't see one, and I see every indication of something similar in the offing.