A thirst for palliative care: the Liverpool Care Pathway and withholding sustenance
The 'terminally ill' patient: this is so oft repeated...
It is the patient diagnosed as 'dying', also, so oft embarked, sets forth upon the Pathway; it is not just the patient diagnosed with a terminal illness, an illness that will result in ending life, that treads that way.
This murderous practice, encouraged and demanded by the CQUIN payments, must cease. May the New Year see this come to pass.
The report highlights a myriad of challenges of mainstreaming palliative care: the fact that most common chronic diseases (unlike cancer) have uncertain prognoses, which makes assessment of the need for palliative care difficult... ("The Solid Facts: Palliative Care" edited by Elizabeth Davies and Irene J. Higginson - Ethos Perspectives) — May 2007 Soh Tze Min and Sheila Ng
Placing a patient on the Pathway "is a decision with an end in view. The patient is dying. Why? Because we say they are dying. Why? Because we have decided.” (Dr Philip Howard)
Without a doubt, end-of-life care is fraught with complexity and controversy. For example, there is continuing debate whether it devalues life by abandoning curative efforts too early, or is more respectful of life as it seeks to give the dying greater dignity and quality of life. While most respect individual choice and one's right to die with dignity, interpretations—whether individual, societal, cultural, religious or clinical—of what constitutes "quality of life" in one's dying years vary greatly. There is also a lingering perception that palliative care can result in substandard medical treatment, or is a way to end the burden of caregivers.Ethos Perspectives — May 2007
Soh Tze Min and Sheila Ng