Saturday, 19 October 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - "You Think You're Gods But You Are Not"

They make not a medical judgement but a value judgement. This is not in their remit to do. This is not a 'right' which should be upheld.

Hospitals can seriously impede your chances of recovery.

David James walked into hospital last year with a stomach complaint but, later that same month, became critically ill after contracting hospital-acquired pneumonia that led to multiple organ failure.

The doctors, instead of owning up to some responsibility for this man, battled with his family to have treatment withheld.
Julie James: "Where there is life I think doctors should do everything they can to preserve life."

May James: "I told the doctor, 'you think you're gods but you are not'"

- Vancouver Sun
Following minor brain surgery to remove a benign tumour at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Hassan Rasouli contracted meningitis. The infection caused severe brain damage. Hassan fell into a coma.

The doctors, instead of owning up to some responsibility for this man, battled with his family to have treatment withheld.

The James family went to court and won their fight to have treatment continued.
Julie James: "To be brutally honest I think it all comes down to costs – he’s been there for seven months, he’s become a liability and they want to free up a bed.
But the judge agreed with us, and hopefully it will stop other families having to go through what we have."
The Rasouli family have, likewise, pursued a case to have treatment continued.

The James family, having won their case, had their hard-won victory overturned when the doctors, in turn, took them to court!
Liverpool Echo
His son Paul said his dad’s heart had stopped beating.

The family are devastated and bitter that medics went to court over the 68-year-old’s care. He lost his fight for life just over a week after the hospital trust won an appeal giving staff the right to withhold treatment.

Paul, 37, said: “It’s been absolutely horrendous at what was already a difficult time.

“And what gets me is that with this court case, all that’s been discussed, nothing has ever been brought up about why he ended up in that situation. And what led to his deterioration. That’s been pushed under the carpet.
The Rasouli family have had their case heard at the highest court in the land.

This is CTV News

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by doctors at a Toronto hospital who sought to withdraw treatment from a severely brain-damaged patient they say has no hope of recovery.
Two lower Ontario courts sided with Rasouli's family on the matter. They ruled that under Ontario's Health Care Consent Act, Rasouli's doctors need to have Salasel's consent to withdraw life support, and that if she refused, they would need to refer the case to the province's Consent and Capacity Board.
But rather than go to the Board, Rasouli's physicians, Dr. Brian Cuthbertson and Dr. Gordon Rubenfeld, appealed directly to the Supreme Court.
And The Globe and Mail reports –
The family of comatose patient Hassan Rasouli won a landmark victory over who controls his fate at the Supreme Court of Canada on Friday. But they may still face a battle over keeping the retired engineer on life support.
Erica Baron, a lawyer for two physicians at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital who were seeking the right to withdraw those supports without the family’s consent, and without having the dispute heard by a long-established Ontario tribunal, said she would not comment on whether the doctors will continue seeking to pull out the mechanical ventilator and other supports from him.
Rest not on your laurels, for they are resolute in their purpose...

There is a battle won, but the war is not done.

This is BBC News Liverpool –
A widow has called on the Supreme Court to rule that doctors should not have been given permission to withdraw treatment from her husband.

The case is being considered by a panel of Supreme Court justices at a two-day hearing, which is due to end on Thursday.
A decision is not expected until later in the year.
May James is determined that the court decision which took David James' life shall not set a precedent.

Cuthbertson and Rubenfeld will seek to do the same: that this decision concerning Hassan Rasouli shall not set a precedent.

Further reading -
Liverpool Care Pathway - It's For You To Decide, None Other

Liverpool Care Pathway - The Moral Minefield That Is Defining Death

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