From The Wall Street Journal:
If you ever find yourself traveling on the Liverpool Care Pathway, you've taken a wrong turn. London's Daily Telegraph explains:
Rosemary Munkenbeck says her father Eric Troake, who entered hospital after suffering a stroke, had fluid and drugs withdrawn and she claims doctors wanted to put him on morphine until he passed away under a scheme for dying patients called the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).
Mrs Munkenbeck, 56, from Bracknell, said her father, who previously said he wanted to live until he was 100, has now said he wants to die after being deprived of fluids for five days. . . .
Last week The Daily Telegraph reported a warning from experts that some patients with terminal illnesses were being wrongly put on the NHS scheme and allowed to die prematurely if they ticked "the right boxes."
London's Daily Mail, meanwhile, reports that the LCP is for very young patients as well as very old ones:
Doctors left a premature baby to die because he was born two days too early, his devastated mother claimed yesterday.
Sarah Capewell begged them to save her tiny son, who was born just 21 weeks and five days into her pregnancy--almost four months early.
They ignored her pleas and allegedly told her they were following national guidelines that babies born before 22 weeks should not be given medical treatment.
And the Sunday Times of London reports on the British medical system's treatment of adults in the prime of life:
Parents are being threatened with having their children taken into care [state custody] after questioning doctors' diagnoses or objecting to their medical care.
John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP, who campaigns to stop injustices in the family court, said: "Very often care proceedings are used as retaliation by local authorities against 'uppity' people who question the system."
Cases are emerging across the UK:
The mother of a 13-year-old girl who became partly paralysed after being given a cervical cancer vaccination says social workers have told her the child may be removed if she (the mother) continues to link her condition with the vaccination.
A couple had all six of their children removed from their care after they disputed the necessity of an invasive medical test on their eldest daughter. Doctors, who suspected she might have had a blood disease, called for social services to obtain an emergency protection order, although it was subsequently confirmed that she was not suffering from the condition. The parents were still considered unstable, and all their children were taken from them.
A single mother whose teenage son is terminally ill and confined to a wheelchair has been told he is to become the subject of a care order after she complained that her local authority's failure to provide bathroom facilities for him has left her struggling to maintain sanitary standards.
Putting all this in perspective is former Enron adviser Paul Krugman: "In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We've all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false." Don't worry, be happy as you meander down the Liverpool Care Pathway.