Monday, 16 July 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway – This Illustrious Company

This illustrious company - Gates, Warnock, Attali, Amis - joins this much-respected body of medical luminaries which, also, has succumbed to entertaining the unthinkable -

BMA: Let patients die 'to save cash'

THE leader of Scotland's doctors has questioned whether society can afford to pay thousands of pounds to keep terminally-ill people alive for weeks or months when health service budgets are under unprecedented strain.
Dr Brian Keighley, chairman of the British Medical Association Scotland, said in some cases tens of thousands of pounds were spent on drugs to extend cancer patients' lives for relatively short periods.

Thus has the outrageous suggestion become the reasonable proposition and may now pass as so mundane as to be almost unworthy of mention.

A gathering momentum exerting constant and certain pressure via innocuous and persuasive argument becomes an irresistible force. Thus does the unacceptable seep into our moral overview and undermine our perceptions of right and wrong.

The misguided and the malicious,- each sees in the Liverpool Care Pathway an opportunity.

It presents the possibility to mechanise and sanitise existence into a more bland and acceptable version for the one. It removes accountability and responsibility from the equation. Everything is reduced to the fine print of practice and procedure. Even grief itself becomes a predetermined outcome.

For the other, at a personal level, an unwanted and unwelcome  ‘nuisance’ may be removed without risk of disapproval or deprecation, neatly slotted into an acceptable ‘care’ environment under the kind ministrations of the recognised LCP protocols. At another level, healthcare in general and geriatric healthcare in particular has more finite and predictable outcomes; forward-planning becomes a less worrying, less onerous task in the management of its financial consequences.

This last is the most certain of its aims and purposes.

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