Families Not Informed Over Use of 'Death Pathway'

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on  December 4, 2011 at 12:12 AM Hospital News
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Several patients in the NHS are put onto the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) each year in their last days and hours without informing their families, according to an audit that was led by the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool in collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians.
 Families Not Informed Over Use of 'Death Pathway'
Families Not Informed Over Use of 'Death Pathway'

The Liverpool Care Pathway, developed at the Royal Liverpool Hospital in the 1990s allows medical staff to withdraw fluid and drugs in the final days of life. It is recommended as a best practice model to follow in the last hours or days of life by national policy. However, the guidelines state that if a patient is in the last hours or days of life it should always be discussed with the patient where possible and appropriate, if not then families should be involved in the decision to put patients on this 'death pathway'.

Following the audit of over 130 NHS trusts it was revealed that doctors failed to have a conversation with the family in up to 2,500 cases. In one NHS trust it was found that less than half families were not informed of the use of this scheme and in a quarter of trusts, one in three families were not informed.

In some cases patients have been put on the pathway only to recover when their families intervened. It was a shock for several families when they found that their loved one was put on this death pathway without consultation.

Source: Medindia

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Absolutely disgraceful, people trust the NHS with their lives and this is what happens. In fact I suspect that euthanasia has been going on for a long long time. For example when I was aged about ten my maternal grandfather suffered a stroke. According to grandma the doctor arrived with a large bottle of white medicine and instructions to give three tablespoonsful per day. Grandma said that she asked whether there would be enough medicine and the doctor said "Oh yes you'll have enough". I suspect that grandpa knew what was going on as once or twice he managed to barricade the bedroom door. Nevertheless "do-gooders" managed to get in and force him to take the "medicine". Three days after the stroke he was dead. The health workers took the "medicine" away so we'll never know what the bottle contained. The part that sets the alarm bells ringing was the statement "Oh yes you'll have enough". Needless to say grandma was bereft but as they had retired to Blackpool and we were in Manchester we were somewhat out of the loop. My own bitter experience of the NHS was when my mother took me to a dentist at the age of seven. "Oh that one needs doing and that one needs doing" he said and he ruined several of my teeth. Later I read in the paper "Dentist spared being struck-off for the second time"; it was my dentist! Nevertheless he was allowed to continue to practice and practise as he was the only NHS dentist in the area. Who can you trust?


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