A British End of Life Program Cause Controversy

A popular but controversial program dealing with end of life issues is causing a firestorm of controversy. The program called the Liverpool Care Pathway  has doctors  in the UK concerned that patients as placed to death when they can still are in some control of their faculties.

In  the Liverpool Care Pathway (or LCP is known in medical circles) some doctors take patients that cannot take food or drink are recommend to removed of I.V.’s and place on sedition medication until they succumb the medicine.

Prominent doctors,ethicist, geriatrics doctors and others signed a letter voicing their concerns the program including Peter Millard Professor Emeritus of Geriatrics, Univeristy of London; Dr. Peter Hargreaves consultant of Palliative Medicine at St. Luke’s Cancer Care in Guildford.

The letter states,“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.

“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients.”

Developed by the Marie Curie Society; the cancer charity in a Liverpool hospice to reduce suffering for cancer patients in their final hours. The program endorsed by the National Institutes of Health and Care Excellence the Liverpool Care Pathway  is used throughout England in hospitals, hospices and  care homes.

Under the Plan the dying patient and the care team which include a senior doctor will be evaluated to see if the patient is in his or her final days, The symptoms may including difficulty swallowing medicines or have lost consciousness.

Doctors  warn that the symptoms could point to other medical problems; patients maybe semi-conscious and confused based on pain killing drugs such as morphine; if they are dehydrated .

The Telegraph has more.


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