Monday, 29 April 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - Shall We Permit The Tide To Turn?

They fought to defend our liberties, our democracy, against the jackboot of tyranny. Those liberties, that democracy, are once more in peril.

Our old ones were the young ones who faced the tyrant down. Their lives are now forfeit. They have no place except to be used as landfill for the pensions black hole that is one more gaping sore in the faltering economy.

Our struggles have been long and hard to establish what rights we have against home-grown despots, from peasants' revolt to Chartists' march to suffragettes' hunger strike.

"...we are all living in an “age of freedom” that has come about since World War II.

All this change has come about because there is freedom being enjoyed in this country by her citizens through democracy — a system that was “introduced” to the people of this country by the British in the “pre-independence” period. It was adopted as a system of governance by our own wise political leadership in the post-independence era –which in a way was a continuance of the previously introduced system. But it would have been impossible to adopt or continue it in the post-independence era (after 1947) if it had been destroyed in Britain, the mother of democracy, through defeat at the hands of Hitler. And it was saved in Britain, it is universally acknowledged, largely because of the vision, vigilance, determination, extraordinary power of expression, and inspirational leadership of one man — Winston Churchill."

Who lets their mind be ruled by complacency and their heart be swayed by indifference permits the tide to turn that will rob us of these hard-won liberties we enjoy and the rights we have won...

The stations of uncensored expression are closing down; the lights are going out; but there is still time for those to whom freedom and parliamentary government mean something to consult together. Let me, then, speak in truth and earnestness while time remains.  Winston S. Churchill 
The James family  had beloved husband, father and grandfather, David, taken from them by edict of the courts. They were even sworn to silence as to the name of the hospital that, first, sapped the health, took them to court, then, took the life of this gentleman. The expressed wishes of Mr. James and his family were ignored and overturned. And the lights are going out...

There are secret courts in this land that sit in judgement behind closed doors, not to decide and adjudicate heinous crimes, for they are overlooked and go unpunished - as at Gosport and Mid-Staffs; no, these are a cowardly breed who persecute the innocent.

We may yet speak out but, already, the censors' guillotine threatens to slice off our tongues should we dare to break the edict handed down by them not to speak.

This court may sit in absence and sit in secret. The publicising of its actions and its edicts may result in incarceration amongst Britain's vilest offenders, as has happened to Wanda Maddocks.

This is the awful, terrible power of the State that has become An Hideous Strength.

This is Wanda's story.

This is MailOnline -

She was subjected to a gruelling, secret legal battle, at the end of which she was thrown into a prison van, forbidden from speaking to a solicitor and sent to Foston Hall women’s prison in Derby — which once housed Maxine Carr, girlfriend of Soham killer, Ian Huntley.

For six terrifying weeks she found herself locked up alongside murderers and drug addicts.

‘Most of the inmates were serial offenders. Most were on drugs. They’d queue up for their methadone every day. I was a fish out of water, to say the least,’ she says.

‘I got myself into trouble when I said to one of the inmates: “I’m so glad I don’t have to share a room with anyone. Imagine if you ended up sharing with a murderer.” She replied: “I am a murderer”.’

In the bitterest irony of all, Wanda believes her incarceration was all for nothing and that her father’s worst fears came true. She claims he was so neglected by care home staff that he died of starvation within weeks of moving into one residence. ‘He died in their care. As far as I’m concerned, they killed him. The word they used on his death certificate was “inanition”. I had to look it up, but it basically means starvation,’ she says.

She also says her father’s body was covered in bruise-like marks, which the coroner failed to explain at the inquest.

Wanda was desperate to bring her father home, where she hoped to look after him herself, with the help of a full-time carer paid for privately. But she found she couldn’t have any influence over her father’s care without getting power of attorney over his affairs. This, however, proved easier said than done. ‘I spoke to endless lawyers. Some said it was too specialised for them. One guy wanted £15,000 in fees. We were on our own.’

Desperate to help him build up his strength, Wanda brought him some vitamin B complex tablets, which she had read were helpful for Alzheimer’s sufferers. This, she says, sparked ‘another battle in the war’.

‘I was made to feel like I’d “sneaked” drugs into my father. I would never do that. I gave them to the nurse and it was all above board. But that was it. After that I couldn’t be with my father unsupervised.’

Wanda says the breaking point came when she visited her father on Christmas Day but was allowed only one hour with him, supervised by staff.

‘Dad begged: “Can I not have some time alone with my daughter?” But they wouldn’t allow it.
‘I went home and cried, and called my brothers. They were furious.’

The family began to hatch a plan to get their father away. On Boxing Day, Wanda’s brothers went to the home, got him out of the fire door, took him for a meal, then called Wanda.
‘I told them to bring him to me and I would take him to Turkey.’

Despite the awful chain of events this action sparked, Wanda says she has no regrets. She claims her father’s health flourished during this time and he — ‘the man the authorities seemed to think was some sort of vegetable’ — was walking miles every day and eating hearty meals.

‘It was proof to me that his medical condition wasn’t as acute as they claimed. They had him down as some sort of vegetable. That simply wasn’t the case.

‘When we visited him in care, he was lethargic and depressed. I’m sure he was drugged up for a lot of it. But here, he was free, he was Dad again.’

While authorities insist that he was well cared for and saw a GP and other medical professionals on five separate occasions in the weeks leading up to his death, nothing will convince his daughter that his death was unavoidable.

Wanda sighs. ‘I can’t help but think that if I’d kept him here, he would still be alive today.’

She watches an old woman on the steps below. ‘Do you know, in Turkey, they don’t even know what a care plan is. I tried to tell a friend here about getting power of attorney over my Dad and they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.

Here, they don’t have care homes. Old folk move in with their children, and stay there until they die. I can’t help but think they have got the right idea, but it is too late.’

1 comment:

  1. I am also afraid of the loss of our freedoms and the system which is still developing to lock up our elderly and remove their human rights, including the right to life. I do not think there is one political party we can trust. Somehow we have to build something new from the ground up, but that must start by waking people up as to what is going on. Thanks for your blog.