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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Liverpool Care Pathway Used as Euthanasia



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The Liverpool Care Pathway, which was supposed to be restricted to sedating patients whose pain could not otherwise be controlled, has mutated into a form of euthanasia. Not only are UK hospitals paid to to put patients “on the Pathway,” but it has become increasingly clear that it is being misused as a form of euthanasia. From the Independent story:

The controversial method of withholding food and drink from terminally ill patients so they die quicker has “transformed” end of life care, according to an article in a leading medical journal. The Liverpool care pathway, which recommends that in some circumstances doctors withdraw treatment, food and water from sedated patients in their final days, means that they can have a “peaceful, pain-free, dignified death” at home, said Glasgow-based general practitioner Dr Des Spence. The method has come under close scrutiny recently. Reports suggest that doctors are establishing “death lists” of patients to put on the pathway. Articles also claim that hospitals may be employing the method to cut costs and save on bed spaces.

This means that at least some patients who can still eat and drink, are put into comas and deprived of sustenance. That is appropriate when a patient can no longer assimilate food or water at the very end of life.  But making it so they can’t eat or drink water by mouth and then depriving them of the sustenance needed to keep them alive, is killing.  And it hasn’t been restricted to the imminently dying. I don’t know what else to call it but backdoor euthanasia.

Death panels–the result of centralized bureaucratic control. Anyone who can’t see the connection with Obamacare just doesn’t want to see.



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