Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - A Shocking Insight

This is the Metro -

Dispatches: Death On The Wards was shocking insight into the NHS

Dispatches: Death On The Wards revealed the shocking treatment families
received as part of the Liverpool Care Pathway  (Picture: Channel 4)
TV review: Dispatches: Death On The Wards revealed families were kept in the dark about relatives’ care.
How and when did the Liverpool Care Pathway, a phrase that sounds like it was dreamed up in a sci-fi horror movie, slip into our lives?
It must have been while we were distracted by the economic meltdown. But, as Dispatches: Death On The Wards (C4) pointed out, we really should be sitting up and taking notice.
Reporter Morland Sanders did an even-handed job of giving both sides a hearing but what was shocking was how little information loved ones are given when a patient is put on LCP.
The aim of the pathway (what a subversively benign term for death that is) is to standardise care.
But it was clear too many were in the dark about what it actually means.
‘Is the NHS prescribing backdoor euthanasia?’ could have sounded like a scaremongering, headline-grabbing soundbite.
But it rang true: it was clear that there needs to be full disclosure to patients what LCP actually means. It’s a matter of life and death.

This is Channel 4 -


Death on the Wards

Dispatches investigates the truth behind allegations that tens of thousands of seriously ill people have been put on a pathway to death - likened to legalised euthanasia - and claims from families that doctors have callously killed off patients who could have had months or even years to live.

The programme interviews leading specialists, terminally ill patients and families. And it reveals the results of the first survey of thousands of doctors into how the process of dying is managed in our hospitals.

The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), which originated in the hospice movement for cancer patients, is intended to ease the often lengthy and painful process of dying.

A key principle is to stop treating a patient's underlying condition if treatment is judged to be futile or harmful. Official guidelines now mean that every hospice and hospital has to have an approved end of life pathway, and the LCP is by far the most prevalent.

An estimated 130,000 people last year died after being placed on the LCP and many of us can expect to have our deaths, or those of our loved ones, managed using the pathway.

However, the process has become hugely controversial. It is not only those with terminal cancer who are now being put on the LCP.

Many more patients are now put on the pathway following other illnesses such as strokes and some families are claiming that their relatives could, and should, have lived longer.

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