Sunday, 4 December 2011

Liverpool Care Pathway - A Sanction To Act With Impunity

The newspaper article here reproduced is referred to in Dr Rita Pal's reply below. It is taken from the Sunday Mercury.

The article confirms what we have discovered for ourselves and what was confided to us by solicitors we consulted in our quest of utter desperation to seek justice for this dear lady - a grandmother, a mother, a friend and confidante.

This lady survived Hitler’s blitz of London and all manner of hardships life threw at her. You may read her story on the BBC People’s War Website.

Here - BBC People's War -recommended story
and here - BBC People's War

She was always ready to lend a hand and make whatever sacrifice it was necessary to make for her family and everyone and anyone she came into contact with. She was there for her ailing widower dad during the closing war years and after, holding down a job in a munitions factory to boot. But when it came for her turn to be cared for, she was selected for termination.

The NHS (National-socialist Health Service) actually succeeded in doing what Hitler’s Luftwaffe failed to do. She escaped the ‘thugs of Nazis’ as she called them, but she couldn’t escape this same foul creed which has crept surreptitiously into acceptance, recognition and actual approval and now permeates society. God help us!

How dare they do what they do? They do because they can, and with impunity. They do because they have sanction to do. But what was once passed over with a nod and a wink now has the sanction of law. The Liverpool Care Pathway is a legal document and via this means are these foul deeds perpetrated.

The article claims that

New figures reveal that 3,000 patients were helped to die by doctors breaking the law in the UK last year, and 192,000 people had their deaths accelerated by medics.

These doctors and medics need act outside the law no more. They have the legal protection of the Liverpool Care Pathway.

Doctors playing god with lives

New figures reveal that 3,000 patients were helped to die by doctors breaking the law in the UK last year, and 192,000 people had their deaths accelerated by medics. Midland doctor RITA PAL accuses medics of playing God with people's lives.
THE stark realities of life and death in the NHS were revealed last week. New research showed that ending life unethically was common practice amongst many doctors.
Not too long ago I was an idealistic junior doctor, fresh from medical school and eager to provide the best possible treatment for my patients.
After all, I wanted to save lives to the best of my ability. But as time passed, I learned the shocking reality of health professionals with a taste for playing God.
My idealistic values have little place in today's NHS. Hospitals are so under-staffed and under-funded that they become treatment factories condoning a 'survival of the fittest' policy.
The elderly, disabled, confused - those who are least able to form a rapport with doctors - become an intolerable burden on an over-stretched health system.
Before long, a consultant will make the decision to withdraw treatment in their 'best interests'.
The decision is actually based on an assessment of the patient's quality of life versus the potential resource consumption. Unfortunately, the assessment is rarely either detailed or objective.
Doctors are so busy and tired that they make subjective decisions influenced by their own culture, upbringing and opinions.
If the patient's condition does not permit a quality of life that the doctor would personally find acceptable, it is assumed that the life is not worth living and treatment is withdrawn.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) decisions are equated with stopping basic care, nutrition, active treatment, withholding treatment and prescribing medication with a side-effect of decreasing respiration.
These decisions are often unknown to relatives.
I hear the justification of 'best interests' echoed through every NHS ward. I often turn away and wonder how death could possibly be considered in the patient's 'best interest'.
Clearly, the NHS today lacks humanity, integrity and the ability to care about the most vulnerable members of society. The simple concept of assisting the ill and frail has been lost in favour of balance sheets, targets and star ratings.
How much is a life worth?
As a junior doctor, I found this appalling situation impossible to accept. I became a doctor not to end lives, but to save them, and to help patients make their own choices.
Instead, during my time in general medicine, I spent many sleepless nights agonising over the decisions made by consultants, racked with guilt at being an unwilling part of this unethical decision-making process. I often felt that their behaviour as doctors was nothing more than involuntary manslaughter.
The practice has gone on for decades, passed on as accepted practices from one generation of doctors to another - so much so that there is a sense of indifference towards the simple values of patient care.
Just as lives can be ended covertly, so similar methods can be used to save them. Clever under-cover medicine is something that many doctors do to thwart a consultant's deadly decisions.
Patients are transferred to other establishments quickly before DNRs take effect, medication reinstated and given in one-off doses before the consultant has time to notice.
Perhaps my most rewarding experience was the sight of an elderly lady sitting up in bed and putting on her lipstick just two weeks after a consultant had written her off.
"Doctor, do I look pretty?" she asked.
I smiled, hiding my knowledge of my colleague's decision to let her die. "You look fantastic and not a day over 60," I told her.
Saving lives must always be the doctor's first role. Dr Rita Pal, 34, of Sutton Coldfield has worked in a number of hospitals including Selly Oak in Birmingham and now works as a psychiatrist. Five years ago she went to the General Medical Council, claiming that seriously ill elderly patients were being helped to die in Midland hospitals.

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