Thursday, 13 December 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway - One step Beyond The Pathway

Is this not the slippery slope of which we were warned?

One step follows inexorably on to the next. The permissible, step by step, permits the less permissible. This was the manner in which good, ordinary folk, lulled into a condition of blinkered acceptance, were led into that terrible darkness that consumed the 20th century.

What awful prospect, what terrible vision stands before us today? We have barely left the threshold on our journey through this, the 21st century. And what black night is this that steps up to swallow the dying light of day?

We need no Dark Knight to step into the fray to the rescue; we need only that the spark of goodness and decency remains in the hearts of good and ordinary folk and that this will ignite a beacon to cast back that dark veil.

This is The Catholic Herald -

Nine out of 10 unborn children found to have Down’s syndrome are aborted. The price of this tragedy is high

Now the Liverpool Care Pathway, it seems, is being applied to babies with severe long-term disabilities
By FRANCIS PHILLIPS on Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The latest news on the Liverpool Care Pathway, the controversial medical protocol designed to make the dying process more humane, is that it is being applied to very sick babies. I was about to write here “terminally ill” babies – but this is the problem: the LCP has been used in some well-publicised cases where the patients – including babies – are not dying. I read a chilling report last week by an anonymous doctor which described the case of a baby born with multiple congenital problems but who was not about to die. The decision had to be made about whether to treat the infant and help him to live, with all the difficulties involved, or whether to let him die by neglect ie by withdrawing food and liquids. The parents, after consultation, decided they could not cope with a handicapped child so it was agreed the baby should be left to die. This, the doctor related, was for him an agonising process. He admitted feeling extreme reluctance to monitor the infant during the many days the baby took to die, because of the horrific effects of the severe dehydration.
I mention this case because it illustrates the stark moral questions involved. There is a huge difference, for instance, between deciding not to treat a very premature baby who, without immediate and comprehensive medical intervention of an intrusive and painful nature, would die soon after birth, and the story above: a baby with severe, long-term disabilities for whom euthanasia is the deliberately agreed “solution”.
Journalist Dominic Lawson has written very movingly in a recent article in the Daily Mail of his love for his daughter, Domenica, who has Down’s syndrome. Down’s is a chromosomal disorder – but not a life-threatening condition. In the not so distant past there have been some notorious stories of babies born with Down’s who have also been left to die of neglect; in one case in America, Mother Teresa pleaded for the baby in question to be handed over to her nuns who were willing to give it the loving care it needed to thrive. Today, over 90 per cent of babies found to have Down’s in antenatal tests are routinely aborted.
This is an immense tragedy, born of an instinctive fear of a child who is not “normal”. But the price of choosing to eliminate such children is very high. The late Professor Jérôme Lejeune, the geneticist who discovered the cause of Down’s syndrome and who spent his entire medical career seeking to find a cure for it, wrote: “The quality of a civilisation can be measured by the respect it has for its weakest members. There is no other criterion.” He also pointed to the Spartans: “The only ones to eliminate newborns that they believed would be unable to bear arms or beget future soldiers… And nothing remains of [Sparta]: it has left us not a single poet, not a single musician, not even a ruin. Sparta is the only Greek city that contributed nothing to humanity. Is that a coincidence or is there a direct connection?”
I have also been reading an inspirational book by Leticia Velasquez, mother of a daughter with Down’s syndrome, who has set up the pro-life organisation KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome) to raise awareness in the US of the high abortion rate for such children and to persuade parents that there is another choice if they can find it within themselves to make it. Her book, A Special Mother is Born, focuses not on the babies born with severe special needs but on their mothers (and in some cases fathers) who tell their own honest and courageous stories in its pages. These mothers aren’t heroes. They are ordinary women with ordinary human weaknesses faced with an extraordinary choice: to love and nurture their challenging babies – or not. Despite not always having a strong faith to begin with, or material resources to cope with the problems presented to them, these mothers chose life; as the book relates, this choice has brought them unexpected rewards, such as stronger marriages, closer families, renewed faith and new pro-life apostolates.
I do recommend it as part of the literature that all new parents of severely disabled babies should be given – to help them make the choice to go down “the road less travelled”.

We need no Dark Knight to step into the fray to the rescue!

Yes, all we need is this, and only this: that the spark of goodness and decency remains in the hearts of good and ordinary folk and that this will ignite a beacon to cast back the dark veil that already draws its blind across our reason, such that we see and do not see!

Read again these pages -

Liverpool Care Pathway – Welcome To The 21st Century

Welcome to the 21st century. The following article from the New York Post has major ramifications in regard to the practice of death pathways (euthanasia by stealth) and of assisted suicide, both of which are being shunted along with almost irrevocable enthusiasm by those with influence and with power.

Anna Soubry is the newly appointed Under-Secretary of State for Health. Here is the MailOnline -
Ms Soubry said in an interview at the weekend: 'I think it’s ridiculous and appalling that people have to go abroad to end their life instead of being able to end their life at home.
'The rules that we have about who we don’t prosecute allow things to happen but there’s a good argument that we should be a bit more honest about it.'Asked about Ms Soubry’s comments, Downing Street today hinted that Parliament could look again at the issue.
And here is this is Nottingham  -
Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry calls for 'evolution' of the law on assisted suicides
The New York Post article should be read in context with the following which may be found in these pages -
Liverpool Care Pathway - Nazifying The NHS

Eurotransplant, a co-ordination group for transplants in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovenia, is now devising elaborate protocols for ‘organ donation and transplantation after euthanasia’. Dr Peter Saunders, of Care Not Killing, an umbrella group of more than 50 British medical, disability and religious charities opposed to euthanasia, said he was shocked by the report.
‘I was amazed at how nonchalantly the issue was dealt with as if killing patients and then harvesting their organs was the most natural thing in the world,’ he said.
The New York Post article should be read in context with the following which may be found in these pages –
Liverpool care Pathway – A Moral Minefield
Once again, we are treading that moral minefield of the ‘life unworthy of living’ and the decision with purposeful intent to terminate a life. The gaining of acceptance of this concept led, in the 20th century, from sanatorium and clinic to concentration camp and gas chamber and world war.
The Netherlands and Belgium have provided the 21st century a window for observing the practice of euthanasia for twenty years. Even though the practice is legal, there has been a demonstrated preference by MDs for the practice of terminal sedation. An associated organ donation program has produced a harvest organised on a conveyer-belt style unprecedented for its medical efficiency since the days of the Third Reich.
This is from openPR 
Transplantation of lungs: recovered from donors after euthanasia
Press release from: Pabst Science Publishers 
Donors after cardiac death have increasingly provided organs for lung transplantation in Belgium. Between 01/2007-12/2009 in Leuven 17 isolated lung transplantations were performed from cardiac death donors, including four after euthanasia, Dirk van Raemdonck and colleagues (Leuven) report. "All donors expressed their wish for organ donation once their request for euthanasia was granted according to Belgian legislation. All donors suffered from an unbearable non-malignant disorder." One recipient died from a problem unrelated to the graft. The other three patients are still alive - in a good condition.
The weak and the vulnerable are going to be pressured to do the right thing and die. That isn't how it will start out but that is how it will end up.

Organs taken from patients that doctors were pressured to declare brain dead: suit

  • Last Updated: 7:43 AM, September 26, 2012
  • Posted: 1:17 AM, September 26, 2012
The New York Organ Donor Network pressured hospital staffers to declare patients brain dead so their body parts could be harvested — and even hired “coaches” to train staffers how to be more persuasive, a bombshell lawsuit charged yesterday.

The federally funded nonprofit used a “quota” system, and leaned heavily on the next of kin to sign consent forms when patients were not registered as organ donors, the suit charged.
“They’re playing God,” said plaintiff Patrick McMahon, 50, an Air Force combat veteran and nurse practitioner who claims he was fired as a transplant coordinator after just four months for protesting the practice.

Dennis Clark
Patrick McMahon
The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, cited four examples of improper organ harvesting.
In September 2011, a 19-year-old man injured in a car wreck was admitted to Nassau University Medical Center. He was still trying to breathe and showed signs of brain activity, the suit charged.
But doctors declared him brain dead under pressure from donor-network officials, including Director Michael Goldstein, who allegedly said during a conference call: “This kid is dead, you got that?” the suit charged.

The patient’s family consented to have the organs harvested.
“I have been in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan in combat. I worked on massive brain injuries, trauma, gunshot wounds, IEDs. I have seen worse cases than this and the victims recover,” McMahon told The Post.
That same month, a woman was admitted to St. Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx still showing signs of life, the suit said.
She had a kidney transplant earlier in life and network officials used that to pressure her daughter into giving consent.
“They say to her, ‘If you give us permission we will use your mother’s organs and we will help many, many people who need them,’ ” he said.
McMahon’s objections were ignored by a neurologist, who declared her brain dead — and her organs were harvested, according to the suit. McMahon even claims he tried to get a second opinion.
A month later, a man was admitted to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, again showing brain activity, the suit said. McMahon claims his protests were again blown off by hospital and donor-network staff, and the man was declared brain dead and his organs harvested.
In November 2011, a woman admitted to Staten Island University Hospital after a drug overdose was declared brain dead and her organs were about to be harvested when McMahon noticed that she was being given “a paralyzing anesthetic” because her body was still jerking.
When he objected, another network employee told hospital personnel McMahon was “an untrained troublemaker with a history of raising frivolous issues and questions,” the suit charged.
“I had a reputation for raising a red flag,” he said.
In order to harvest organs, the network needs a “Note” — an official declaration by a hospital that a patient is brain dead — and consent from next of kin.
The network hired marketing and sales professionals to “coach” workers to tailor their pitches based on the family’s demographics, said the suit, filed by McMahon’s lawyers Michael Borrelli, Alexander Coleman and Bennitta Joseph.
The suit said that on Nov. 4, McMahon told Helen Irving, president and CEO of the network, “one in five patients declared brain dead show signs of brain activity at the time the Note is issued.”
Irving, the suit said, replied: “This is how things are done.”
Network spokeswoman Julia Rivera said she hadn’t seen the suit, but noted that only doctors can declare a patient brain dead.
She called McMahon’s claims of a quota system “ridiculous. There are no quotas.”
A Staten Island University Hospital spokeswoman declined comment. Reps for the other three hospitals could not immediately be reached.
Additional reporting by Bob Fredericks
Let us restate and remind here -
A new national CQUIN goal has been introduced for use in 2012-13.

An estimated 25% of acute beds are occupied by people with dementia. Their length of stay is longer than other people and they are often subject to delays on leaving hospital.

This particular goal is to help identify patients with dementia and other causes of cognitive impairment, alongside their other medical conditions and to prompt appropriate referral and follow up after they leave hospital.

There are more bed-blockers to shift. And where will this lead? And where will this end...?

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