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Archive for September 3rd, 2009

Just don’t call them death panels.  Because that would be wrong, and scaremongery, and stuff. Death pathway is ever so much more pleasant, don’t you agree? (my emphasis)

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

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When a decision has been made to place a patient on the pathway doctors are then recommended to consider removing medication or invasive procedures, such as intravenous drips, which are no longer of benefit.

If a patient is judged to still be able to eat or drink food and water will still be offered to them, as this is considered nursing care rather than medical intervention.

Dr Hargreaves said that this depended, however, on constant assessment of a patient’s condition.

He added that some patients were being “wrongly” put on the pathway, which created a “self-fulfilling prophecy” that they would die.

He said: “I have been practising palliative medicine for more than 20 years and I am getting more concerned about this “death pathway” that is coming in.

No mention, of course, of what kind of behind the scenes discussion of cost savings might have factored into the decision to help epople die as quckly as possible.

UPDATE:  Related?

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