Monday, 24 June 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - They Say They Can Diagnose Dying

Life is resilient; life always strives to be.
Life is precious, and that is why living matters.

They say they can diagnose dying but they can’t always be certain they have diagnosed death.

They declared May to be dead, then found a faint pulse...

Mail Online
Three or four Britons come back from the dead each year, a leading medical conference will hear.

Official figures show that between 2009 and 2011, ten patients were declared dead too quickly.In one case, a family that had just been told their loved one had died walked into the room to find that she was breathing.

The woman, who has not been named, never regained consciousness and died eight hours later.

However, the premature declaration of her death caused her family ‘extreme distress’, the National Patient Safety Agency has said.

The health watchdog is aware of nine other cases – and that this is likely to be an underestimate.
The premature diagnosis of dying and consignment on the LCP to a premature death has caused families 'extreme distress' and utter devastation!

They say they can diagnose dying, they say they can diagnose dying, they say they can diagnose dying...

There is absolutely no scientific basis to that claim!

They have been diagnosing dying for years, so sure in their arrogance they have got it right, but the research still goes on. If the research still goes on, then they're still not sure. And they are now on their 12th version of the LCP. So they haven't been too sure about that, either. So, what wrongs and compounded wrongs have been done in their name...?
"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)
And here it is straight from the horses mouth: Chairman Ellershaw in his own write. On the University of Liverpool website, the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute –

Recognising when patients are approaching the imminently dying phase (the
last hours or days of life) is an important aspect of providing end of life care,
for example enabling appropriate communication with family and considering
patient priorities such as any specific religious or cultural needs, or preferred
location for end of life care. However, this recognition can be challenging and
multiple factors need to be considered. Every patient, each with their own
individual characteristics, makes them, and the course of their illness,
unique. An editorial of the Journal of Palliative Medicine in August 2007
stated, “It might strike lay people as odd, but there is little empirical data on
the physician skill of diagnosing imminent death. It would appear that much
remains to be learned.” There is limited evidence in medical literature of how
the dying phase can be identified

Recognising the imminently dying phase is complex and a variety of factors
appearto be considered by experienced hospice staff in this study. While the
qualitative study & subsequent Delphi cannot provide all the answers to the
complex and multi-factorial process of recognising the dying phase, this
Delphi has helped gain further consensus on aspects of this process building
on the previous qualitative research. Outcomes of the Delphi could be used
as a basis for future research for quantitative study or for development of
educational tools

And just so you can be sure you know how to diagnose dying, a wordle has been created especially for that purpose...

Now, isn't that fun?

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