Free Markets, Free People

Liverpool care pathway


Welcome to your Orwellian future

Anyone who doesn’t think that this is the future of government run healthcare just hasn’t been paying attention. The UK is our future. Once Obamacare fails and the liberals and Democrats convince the American people that government run single-payer is the way to go, here’s what you can expect:

Up to 60,000 patients die on the Liverpool Care Pathway each year without giving their consent, shocking figures revealed yesterday.

A third of families are also kept in the dark when doctors withdraw lifesaving treatment from loved ones.

Despite the revelations, Jeremy Hunt last night claimed the pathway was a ‘fantastic step forward’.

A “fantastic step forward”. If that isn’t Orwellian we need to redefine the term. If you’re not familiar with the Liverpool care pathway, it is ” extreme rationing”.

By that I mean “caregivers” make unilateral decisions about when your life ends, because you cost too much. You may not be particularly ill, but you are a burden. If you are ill, that’s all the more reason to withdraw lifesaving treatment in their estimation. “First do no harm?”  Forget about it …

Records from 178 hospitals also show that thousands of people on the pathway are left to die in pain because nurses do not do enough to keep them comfortable while drugs are administered.

An estimated 130,000 patients are put on the pathway each year.

Concerns have been raised that clinical judgments are being skewed by incentives for hospitals to use the pathway.

We say here often that incentives drive performance. That holds true for bureaucracies as well.  As you can see here, this isn’t some isolated instance of a few hospitals or region or two doing this on their own. This is government policy. And as you can imagine you really have no recourse.

You are looking at our future.

~McQ


But there will be no death panels

That’s what we’ve been assured would never exist if government is in charge of your health care and paying all costs.

That, of course, in the face of a promise to lower health care costs as well as the fact that the vast majority of health care spending takes place at the end of life.  Forget those conflicting points, death panels will never happen because, well because the left says so. 

Incentive?  Well that’s sort of a foreign word to the left so forgive them if they don’t understand that those two dueling points above provide incentive to end lives whether or not they’re willing to call it the result of death panels or not.

The example?

Well the good old British NHS of course

Shocking news from England today has top NHS officials indicating doctors acting in the UK government-run health program annually kill as many as 130,000 patients prematurely because of overcrowding at hospitals, medical clinics and nursing homes.

In fact they even have a name for doing that – the Liverpool Care Pathway.

Sounds so … benign.

He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway, a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country. It is designed to come into force when doctors believe it is impossible for a patient to recover and death is imminent.

It can include withdrawal of treatment – including the provision of water and nourishment by tube – and on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours. There are around 450,000 deaths in Britain each year of people who are in hospital or under NHS care. Around 29 per cent – 130,000 – are of patients who were on the LCP.

Or, in other words, the government and doctors playing God.  And, naturally, it has devolved into something done often just for the medical caregiver’s convenience:

Professor Pullicino claimed that far too often elderly patients who could live longer are placed on the LCP and it had now become an ‘assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway’. He cited ‘pressure on beds and difficulty with nursing confused or difficult-to-manage elderly patients’ as factors.

Nice.  LCP’d because they put what must be considered excess demands on the staff.  But look at the bright side – costs are cut, an less expensive patient can take the bed and everyone is happy.

Except the dead bloke and his family.   But, it’s not a “death panel”:

In the example he revealed a 71-year-old who was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia and epilepsy was put on the LCP by a covering doctor on a weekend shift.

Professor Pullicino said he had returned to work after a weekend to find the patient unresponsive and his family upset because they had not agreed to place him on the LCP.

‘I removed the patient from the LCP despite significant resistance,’ he said.

‘His seizures came under control and four weeks later he was discharged home to his family,’ he said.

Instead it’s just a “death pathway” protocol.  So nothing to see here, citizen, move along.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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