Friday, 30 September 2011

Liverpool Care pathway – The Affordable Alternative

Free up beds, free up resources.

The cost of a good death is cost-able, determinable and finite; the cost of a good life..? Can the NHS afford to keep you alive?

Can the NHS afford to keep you alive?

Celebrities including the author Sir Terry Pratchett and the actor Sir Patrick Stewart have backed a campaign to allow terminally ill patients to receive help to die.

But a new poll found 70 per cent of disabled people were concerned that such a reform would create pressure on vulnerable patients to “end their lives prematurely”.

The survey for Scope, the leading disability charity, also found 3 per cent of the 500 disabled people questioned in the ComRes poll feared that they would personally come under pressure to commit suicide if the law were changed.

That pressure is real. In the Netherlands, the old carry cards to say they don’t want to be euthanized.

Every Day A Bonus

In the Telegraph, Charlie Cowper-Johnson is quoted as saying: 'While there's life I have hope, but euthanasia is the slippery slope'

“There were times, initially, that I thought ending my life was best for everyone. But now I realise that time and life are so very precious. That there are so many good things in life.”

IF Charlie Cowper-Johnson survives for another month - and he is confident that he will - he will be living on borrowed time. In October 1999, just two weeks after his wedding, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given two years to live.

Life for Mr Cowper-Johnson, however, is precious. Unlike Diane Pretty, a fellow sufferer who, last week, was granted a High Court hearing for the right to be helped to die, he intends to fight for every moment.

He fears, however, that the ruling may eventually lead to the right to euthanasia - to which he is vehemently opposed.

Mr Cowper-Johnson said yesterday: "What time I have left is a gift. I stay confident that one day, I pray in my lifetime, a cure for this terrible terminal illness that traps an alert mind in a powerless body will be found.

"Can you imagine what a slippery slope last week's legal ruling could lead to? It would be open to all sorts of abuse by people who wanted to end their spouse's life.”

A slip of the tongue by a spouse or a relative on how they would struggle to cope with the burden of care would also be sufficient to mark a victim for withdrawal of treatments.

The advent of the introduction of LCP has made that all the more easy and certain.

How much is a good life? LCP has proven itself to be an affordable, less problematic alternative.

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