Thursday, 27 June 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - BMA All The Way...?

The BMA is quite unanimous... Again! Apparently. But back in the real world, we're all a tad underwhelmed by it all.

Everyday Ethics hosted a debate between Dr.Peter Saunders, CEO Christian Medical Fellowship, and Professor Patrick Pullicino, consultant neurologist at East Kent Hospitals and Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Kent.
William Crawley, the Everyday Ethics host, very cleverly and very skilfully drew on the Christian ethics of both men to question the ethics of the Liverpool Care Pathway.

Sadly, Dr.Peter Saunders deemed it necessary to misrepresent the facts of the BMJ survey for Dispatches; and so forthrightly did he speak and with such authority that no-one dared to question him:

"Ninety-eight percent  of over 3000 doctors who were surveyed for the British medical journal in the last week...Ninety-eight percent said that, if appropriately used, it can help people to die much more comfortably."
This BMJ article asked -
The Liverpool care pathway: what do specialists think?
It must be said, a marvellous array of graphs were provided to give, well... a graphical illustration of the results.

The feature mentioned that, of 3021 UK hospital doctors emailed for an anonymous online survey of their views on the Liverpool Care Pathway, only 647 responded. That's only 21.4% of the 'over 3000' doctors.

Only 90% of this 21.4% responded favourably. That being the case, that nine out of ten 90% doesn't look nearly so good... And it's certainly not 98% of the 3021!

Who are these 3021 doctors, in any case? Why were they singled out for the survey? There are, apparently, some 231,000 doctors on the Medical Register as at 2010.

Are they unemployed standins from the Young Doctors set...?

Speaking of young doctors...

Back in April, the young doctors had their own little get together at the Medical Students Committee Conference at the BMA.

Yes, at the BMA again.

And they were all happily tweeting away as twits tweeters do -
@Quinnfeld "Motion 101: To issue a robust statement of support for the Liverpool Care Pathway. #LCP #StudentsLive "
@CrashCall "Unanimous vote in favour of statement strongly in favour of the LCP, in light of erroneous and damaging press stories. #StudentsLive "
@PeterDMurray "Very pleased @BMAstudents unanimously endorsed the Liverpool Care Pathway & rejected lies propagated by tabloid media outlets #studentslive "
@RoseTintdScrubs "@mailonline 's disgraceful attacks on #LCP condemned in first unanimously passed motion. #studentslive "
Is this, truly, the next generation of doctors…?

Good Sirs, good Ladies, you bring yourselves into disrepute, if not the BMA. You insult the victims and loved ones who have suffered at the hands of your colleagues and your wretched, damnable Pathway!

Even arch LCP apologist, Norman Lamb, could not keep the lid on it and had to call the 'Review' to apply a coat of whitewash!

And, once again, following the example of their juniors, the BMA doctors 'overwhelmingly' back the LCP -


However, Yorkshire GP, Mark Pickering, admitted that ‘the LCP may not be perfect.’

Leicester medical student, Sasha Marie, called for training.

BMA president elect, Baroness Finlay, said that media coverage had been damaging...

And called for nurses as well as doctors, to get LCP training.

Hello! Does she mean to say that the doctors and nurses practicing the LCP are not trained, or are not adequately trained? That is damning if true!

Hang on. What about all the training rolled out by Dr. Bee Wee? Was all that not worth a jot? Or were they trained in EoLC by reading that Nursing Times article? Readers of these pages will know to what I refer!

The Baroness said that families had become terrified. Can you blame us?

Chairman Ellershaw admits that Dr. Pullicino is perfectly correct in his assertion that diagnosing dying is not scientifically possible and Baroness Finlay confirms that it is questionable to predict prognosis in the last hours of life and that "basically, we are often wrong".

Tony Calland then put his size nines in it and said that it's important to demonstrate that doctors "Actually know what they are talking about" when it comes to the TLC in the EoLC!

Well, that takes the biscuit. 

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