When government begins to dictate spending and patient care regulations through laws and providing their own standard in health care doctors and hospitals are forced to take extreme measures to meet expectations from the government while still stuffing everyone’s wallet. This leads to spending consideration and reallocation of scarce resources to more useful areas. This leads to even more insidious methods but for now here is an example happening now….
By Daniel Martin
Last updated at 9:11 AM on 15th September, 2009
More than a quarter of families are not told when life support is withdrawn from terminally-ill loved ones, a report has found.
Experts warn that growing use of a controversial ‘death pathway’ is seeing some patients killed off prematurely.
They say the system can lead to ‘backdoor euthanasia’ by encouraging doctors to deny fluids and drugs to those deemed to be in their final throes.
Under the so-called Liverpool Care Pathway, which is used across the NHS and in many nursing homes, doctors can withdraw assistance from the terminally ill and sedate them continuously until death.
About 20,000 patients are thought to die this way each year.
But a national audit of the scheme found that 28 per cent of relatives were not informed that a loved one had been placed on the pathway.
Researchers from the Royal College of Physicians and the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool obtained details of almost 4,000 patients treated on the scheme last year.
Thirty-nine per cent suffered from cancer, while others had conditions such as pneumonia, stroke, organ failure and dementia. The average age of patients was 81 and they were typically on the pathway for 33 hours before death.
More than a third were given sedatives, and four out of five either did not need intravenous medication or fluids, or had them withdrawn. The study found that 76 per cent of families were told that a loved one ‘had entered the dying phase’.
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