NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds, a senior consultant claimed yesterday.
Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial ‘death pathway’ into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly. He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country.
It is designed to come into force when doctors believe it is impossible for a patient to recover and death is imminent. It can include withdrawal of treatment – including the provision of water and nourishment by tube – and on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours.
Professor Pullicino claimed that far too often elderly patients who could live longer are placed on the LCP and it had now become an ‘assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway’.
Ce genre de nouvelle dans un système de santé privé serait un véritable scandale. Mais quand ça vient du secteur public, on se dit que c’est normal…