Pathway to heaven…

For those who think it’s bad enough that pre-birth infants are aborted in such numbers, here’s a scheme in the UK which deals with people at the other end of life.

Of course, if evolution is considered to be the truth, why would not the survival of the fittest be the norm, and the weak, vulnerable and undefended expendable?

There is always the Orwellian named Liverpool Care Pathway, as reported by The Telegraph!

Half of those on Liverpool Care Pathway never told

Almost half of dying patients placed on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway are never told that life-saving treatment has been withdrawn, a national audit has found.

Jeremy Hunt last night described the disclosures from records held by 178 NHS hospitals as ‘totally unacceptable’ 

By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent

The study suggests that in total, around 57,000 patients a year are dying in NHS hospitals without being told that efforts to keep them alive have been stopped.

It also reveals that thousands of dying patients have been left to suffer in pain, with no attempt to keep them comfortable while drugs were administered.

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, last night described the disclosures from records held by 178 NHS hospitals as “totally unacceptable”.

He said the failure to consult patients would now be examined by an independent inquiry, which will also look at payments made to hospitals for meeting targets to place people on the pathway.

Each year around 130,000 patients are placed on the pathway. The national audit by the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool and the Royal College of Physicians examined a representative sample of 7,058 deaths which occurred between April and June last year, at 178 NHS hospitals. Of these, X were on the pathway.

The new disclosures demonstrate just how routinely hospitals are placing patients on the pathway without informing them that steps which could hasten their death have been taken. The national audit found:

• In 44 per cent of cases when conscious patients were placed on the pathway, there was no record that the decision had been discussed with them.

• For 22 per cent of patients on the pathway, there was no evidence that comfort and safety had been maintained while medication was administered.

• One in three families of the dying never received a leaflet they should have been given to explain the process.

Critics of the pathway – which can involve the withdrawal of drugs, fluids and food, and the administration of powerful pain relief – say it is being used to hasten the deaths of the terminally-ill and elderly, in a form of “back-door euthanasia”.

Other doctors, nurses and charities for the dying have come to the defence of the approach, which they say is intended to help ensure that people can die in dignity and comfort, instead of enduring invasive and painful treatment.

In recent months, there has been mounting concern over cases in which family members said they were not consulted or even told when food and fluids were withheld from their loved ones.

Earlier this month, Mr Hunt pledged to strengthen laws to protect patients, making it illegal to put anyone on the pathway – which leads to death in an average of 29 hours – without consulting them or their families.

It comes as the Government prepares to launch a new “vision for nursing” this week which will attempt to instill compassion in the profession, amid deepening concerns about the quality of care being provided on hospital wards.

Last night Mr Hunt said the evidence would be examined as part of an independent review of the practice, which will report back to him in the New Year.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: “It is totally unacceptable for people to be put on the pathway without consent where they are able to give it – that is why we are looking at what goes on in practice to make sure this doesn’t happen.”

Mr Hunt said he was concerned that families and patients were not being sufficiently informed, but suggested the approach to end-of-life care had been mischaracterised by some of its critics.

“We need to be much better at ensuring we are giving people dignity in their final few hours and the Liverpool Care Pathway has played a really important role in improving the standard of care in hospital, to hospice level,” he said.

Earlier this month, the Department of Health began a three-month consultation on changes to the NHS constitution, which would give patients and their families a legal right to be consulted on all decisions about end-of-life care.

The rights will mean patients and relatives could sue if the requirements are not met, and doctors could be struck off if they fail to consult properly.

In a hard-hitting speech last week Mr Hunt expressed concern about the culture of the NHS, warning that too many patients were forced to experience “coldness, resentment, indifference” and “even contempt”.

He warned that in the worst institutions a “normalisation of cruelty” had been fostered.

The family of Arthur Oszek, 86, say they did not find out he had been put on the Liverpool Care Pathway last year until he was left begging for a drink, having been taken off his drip.

After almost a day of discussion with medical staff, treatment was resumed, but it was too late, and Mr Oszek died within 24 hours last August.

Ann Murdoch, Mr Oszek’s stepdaughter, said: “We asked the doctors why he was taken off his drip and we were told he was on the Liverpool Care Pathway. We did not even know what it was.”

“There is no way that should have happened without asking us. We kicked up a fuss and demanded he be put back on his medication and eventually they agreed about 20 hours later.”

NHS Ayrshire and Arran said they could not comment on individual cases, but discussed their assessments with patients and families wherever possible. On other occasions, patients placed on the pathway because doctors judged that they were nearing the end of their life went on to recover.

Patricia Greenwood, 82, was put on the pathway in August, after being admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital with heart problems, and then suffering a fall.

Doctors told her family that they had taken her off feeding tubes because she was not expected to last more than a couple of days.

After her son, Terry, 57, defied the hospital’s orders and gave her sips of water through a straw, Mrs Greenwood, a former pub landlady, rallied, and doctors agreed to put her back on a drip.

She is now back at home and has made plans for a world cruise. The hospital trust said it had not received a complaint about her care.

A survey of 22,000 recently-bereaved Britons found relatives of those cared for in hospices rated the care far better than those whose loved ones spent their last months of life in hospital.

Less than half of families felt hospital nurses had always treated their relative with respect, compared with 80 per cent of those whose loved ones were treated in hospices.

One in six respondents said decisions were made about care which the patient would not have wanted.

Overall, health services in London were rated worst for quality of care, featuring most regularly in the bottom 20 per cent, as rated by the bereaved, while those in the South West scored most highly.

19 thoughts on “Pathway to heaven…

  1. Only a brain dead idiot could not have predicted that euthanasia was the logical outcome of abortion on demand. Doctors have been playing god a lot longer than people imagine – what other profession (apart from the military) gets to bury their subjects when they are done with them?

  2. When Mum was dying, we withdrew her medication in consultation with doctors.

    My sister-in-law’s father died recently after the family said he wasn’t to be revived.

    It’d be interesting to know how many of those families were in regular contact with their elderly parents and the hospitals.

  3. Its an unfortunate fact of life that many of us will have to decide when it would be unwise to continue efforts to prolong others lives.

    Doctors frequently have to make these kinds of judgements. They always have. Unfortunately they cant put someone down with drugs, like you would an old dog, so they often have to starve them or withold water until they die. Some doctors “accidently” give too much morphine for pain-relief rather than see someone die from dehydration.

    Death is rarely a nice clean-cut affair. We all think that we will have pretty good health and then drop dead quickly at an old age – but for 90% of us this will not be our fate.

    The patients and their families ought to be consulted or at least told when they are put on the “pathway”. But there does unfortunately have to be a pathway – there are always people who have to make life and death decisions, both at the start of life and at its end.

  4. Allowing someone to die naturally is, well… natural. Withdrawing medication or life-support is not a bad thing in some cases, where patients are know to be dying, provided a high level of palliative care is administered, and the patient is made as pain free as possible.

    But deliberately starving or dehydrating a patient with or without consent is a completely different matter.

  5. So too is deliberately geo-engineering weather patterns to dehydrate millions of sub-Saharan Africans and developing designer diseases to deal to the rest of Africa, but hey, that is scientific advancement for you…

    The reason why nothing is particularly alright is that everything in particular is all wrong. Death is as you say, is rarely a clean cut affair, unless of course a guillotine is involved.

    In the last days the love of many will wax cold… and the living will envy the dead…

  6. The end of the matter is always better than the beginning thereof. When things are done conscientiously and in consultation with Christ then the outcomes will be better all round. Where doctors can be a problem is the NHS types who work here in the colonies. I had one literally try to kill me – no guessing whose team he was batting for – and God sent me a doctor after His own heart who healed me. If I had remained under the ‘care’ of the other ‘doctor’, I would have died. But God was not done with me yet, hence my song is still singing…

    God numbers the days of our lives – three score years and ten, and more with good health.

    Anyway, all your pensions will have been wiped out soon – give it no more than two more years – then “assisted suicide” will become a much more attractive option, as the living envy the dead.

  7. For a start your assumption that an acceptance of evolutionary thoughtless to this sort of attitude is felonious…the two are’nt linked. I accept evolution but do not like abortion one little bit.

    The other thing you do here is show a misunderstanding of the notion of ‘survival of the fittest’. It does not mean that if you are stronger better more powerful, younger better looking etc that you are the fittest…it means that the genes most fit for survival in any environment will be the genes that get reproduced most often and so will become dominant.

  8. Ecclesiastes 9:11 (KJ21) | In Context | Whole Chapter
    11 I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

    Ecclesiastes 8
    New International Version (NIV)
    8 Who is like the wise?
    Who knows the explanation of things?
    A person’s wisdom brightens their face
    and changes its hard appearance.
    Obey the King

    2 Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God. 3 Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases. 4 Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?”

    “”””””””””””””5 Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm,
    and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.
    6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,
    though a person may be weighed down by misery.
    7 Since no one knows the future,
    who can tell someone else what is to come?
    8 As no one has power over the wind to contain it,
    so[a] no one has power over the time of their death.
    As no one is discharged in time of war,
    so wickedness will not release those who practice it.””””””””””””””””””””
    9 All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own[b] hurt. 10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise[c] in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

    11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. 12 Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him. 13 Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.

    14 There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. 15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

    16 When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on earth—people getting no sleep day or night— 17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.

  9. You may be right, Greg, and your attitude more humanistic than some, but there are those who have viewed the expendability of humans in far more sinister light than you.

    As a result of their understanding of the gene pool they were or are able to influence or draw from, which is entirely what eugenics was all about, and exactly what is being surreptitiously proposed by the barely ethical experiments with ivf on the other post I put up, they are messing with nature and looking towards a brave new world of doubtful morality.

  10. 11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.

    Who can deny this lately? Who?!

  11. Oh , sorry Steve(without inverted commas),
    It was,

    Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NIV) | In Context | Whole Chapter
    11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.

    Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NIV) | In Context | Whole Chapter 11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.

  12. There are some extremely dubious moral ideas being touted by certain sections of science…I have evenb read artivcles where some have called for post birth abortion to be legalised! Now in my book both pre-birth (no mater how early or late term) or post birth, abortion is all the same – we use weasel words to ameliarate the horror of what we are doing as a society and justify it by declaring life to only be human at certain points.

    All in all though, I don’t think it requires a literal understanding of Genesis to accept that ALL life is sacred.

  13. But nearly all of us view human life as expendable in some sense.

    The lives cut down in their prime in war – justified as fighting against some ism (monarchism,communism,terrorism,islamic fundamentalism,zionism) are expendable. Millions of solidiers in their 20s dieing or killing women and children. Yet rarely have I seen a condemnation of such wastage of human life on this forum.

    Similarly the capital punishment of people and even extra-judicial killings have not even been considered worth a post.

    No, this is all thought to be justifiable. Human life is sacred, but apparently not that sacred.

    Why the focus on the beginning or end of the lifespan ? As if only here can we be absolute in our convictions?

  14. The end game of abortion will be euthanasia – you cannot have one without the other. The Darwinian Law of the jungle – survival of the fittest – but at the end of the day it is all just flesh – you cannot kill Spirit. Where the real danger is in that what it does to us personally – dehumanizing – degrading – denying – dividing – dealing death where we are supposed to cultivate lifer and peace and good fruits. I condemn war whole-heartedly – I hate it – cannot stand war movies – even gone of hunting or any of that macho bang bang BS. The mere fact that each year enough money goes into the coffers of the MIC to end world poverty and make every community pretty much comfortably self-sufficient, is a striking and strident condemnation of the limp wrist obey the Govt Roms 13 mentality – and it stinks – it is passivity not Peace.

    Obeying kings is OT, now we are the kings, but beware lest you give your kingship up to the Beast, and will you know him when you see him? He will appeal and appear to all and sundry as a man of peace, having the answers for mankind – he will be a subtle deceiver, and he will be gross waster of human life. The desensitizing process is designed to inure people to death and suffering so that they will inflict it on their fellows having their own consciences seared as with a hot iron.

    It is to this writer the De-personalization which is the crime – the denial of that person’s standing before God as a unique individual creation of God, made in His image and likeness.

    The Sociopath’s mind is at enmity with the Mind of Christ, and Sociopaths deceive many – and they don’t give a rats ass who they kill, in fact, they rather enjoy it. Today we have Texas Chain Saw Massacre, in 3D no less! The Clowned Heads of Europe had battlefields and cannon fodder, or is that canon fodder?

    I remember when I first heard of snuff movies. I was so horrified – I could not even imagine such cruelty – then I began to investigate, at God’s prompting, the whole landscape of sacrifice, to find that to induce terror is the primary purpose and that some people literally feed off that terror, and it excites them. Until you understand the place of sacrifice and how it applies, especially in the massed sacrifices of WW1 and 2, then you won’t understand why it is that rich old men send poor young men to kill other poor young men and women and children…while they wax fat and rich…they are sick with a terminal disease called sin.

  15. Similarly the capital punishment of people and even extra-judicial killings have not even been considered worth a post.

    Wazza you avhe posting rights – post something. I agree with you that all life is sacred and not just the beginning and end. I disagree with sending soldiers off to die for us – nor do I agree with state sanctioned murder; the death penalty

  16. azza2,
    Why the focus on the beginning or end of the lifespan?

    Well, you focus on the beginning or the end depending on what the risk to the individual might be.

    If the beginning is tampered with through social intervention without valid moral intentions then we stand for justice because the individual set for termination is unable to mount the same kind of defence that a person in their prime with full understanding of what is involved in death and its processes can apply.

    Likewise, at the end of life, when a potential victim is threatened and vulnerable through a debilitating illness or inability to defend themselves against the will of others we step in and assist them with protection.

    It is called safeguarding. Those of us who understand what is involved in the action stand alongside those who are unable to resist. We act as guardians of their right to as high a standard of life as is humanly possible in the circumstances.

    Those who are fit and able have the capability of mounting a resistance to injustice, given the right circumstances. We can protest against war, rape, murder, injustice. We can stand for morality and equity. But how do you propose to resist an invasion without taking arms, or defend your women from predators without affirmative action?

    But the unborn child cannot defend himself or herself against the decisions made against their right to life. Nor can the hospitalised patient who may be reaching the end of their days, but should still have the right to have it end it on their own terms without being starved to death or left to dehydrate because a part of society with the power over life or death has deemed them expendable.

  17. waqzza,
    rarely have I seen a condemnation of such wastage of human life on this forum.

    As Greg implies, if there is an absence of articles featuring your concerns, then that can only be because you have not produced them since they are important to you.

    Why complain about others who have posted articles which they are bothered about as if they are ignoring your area of interest and you do nothing about it?

    This post was added because there was a recent article, as was the previous post. Clearly I am not the only one uneasy about these issues.

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