This is ‘our’ NHS (National-socialist Health Service) today?
The Telegraph reports that new 'opt-out' cards are being issued to ‘terminally ill patients’. However, as victims families can attest, it is not just ‘terminally’ ill patients who fall foul of LCP!
Here is The Telegraph -
'Advance refusal' cards for patients fearing 'death pathway'
Terminally ill patients are being issued with special cards warning doctors not to place them on a controversial “death pathway” amid fears the practice is becoming routine.
6:30AM BST 24 Jul 2012
The “advance refusal” notices operate like an organ donor card, enabling people approaching the end of their life to make their wishes clear to while they still have capacity.
It comes amid a growing backlash against overuse of the “Liverpool Care Pathway” which allows medical staff to withhold fluid and drugs from a patient while they are heavily sedated, actively speeding their end.
Supporters of the technique say that it is the kindest way of letting people slip away rather than die in pain.
But leading doctors have voiced fears that hospitals are hastening the deaths of elderly patients to cut costs and free up bed space amid claims it has become a “standard” alternative to euthanasia.
The number of patients put on the pathway has risen sharply in recent years, and opponents estimate that it is now said to be associated with almost a third of hospital deaths – or 130,000 people.
Earlier this month a group of doctors wrote to The Daily Telegraph in conjunction with the Medical Ethics Alliance, a Christian medical organisation, arguing that the technique could be being abused to save costs.
They said that many members of the public had contacted them with examples of inappropriate use of the pathway, with some doctors failing to seek informed consent.
Now the anti-euthanasia charity Alert is distributing cards to patients themselves ensuring that they can opt not to be put on the pathway if they do not wish to.
Simple printed cards read: “Please do not give me the Liverpool Care Pathway treatment without my informed consent or that of a relative.”
The initiative is designed to work in a similar way to so-called “living wills” or advance directives which give patients a right to refuse treatment under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Elspeth Chowharay-Best, the honorary secretary of Alert, said the cards were being produced to answer “an urgent need”.
Among those who have requested a card is Leslie Burke, a former Lancaster postman who has suffered from cerebellar ataxia, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system with follows a path similar to multiple sclerosis, since 1982.
“All I want is to live my life from end to end and not have it ended prematurely under any circumstances,” he said.
In 2005 Mr Burke was defeated at the Court of Appeal after he had earlier successfully demanded that doctors continued to treat him with artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) once he lost the ability to communicate.
Lord Phillips, the head of the panel of judges, assured him at the time that “any doctor who deliberately brings that patient’s life to an end by discontinuing the supply of ANH will not merely be in breach of duty but guilty of murder”.
But Mr Burke, 52, said that he was no terrified that starving and dehydrating patients to death in the NHS was now “becoming the norm”.