Friday, November 2, 2012
Who says crime doesn’t pay? According to London’s Daily Telegraph, British hospitals are euthanizing patients at ever-increasing rates — and raking in big bucks as a result.
Documents obtained by the newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that nearly two-thirds of National Health Service (NHS) trusts, regional authorities that administer hospitals, “have received millions of pounds for hitting targets related to” the use of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), a controversial end-of-life care program.
Developed by a Liverpool hospice to relieve the suffering of terminally ill cancer patients during their final days, the LCP is essentially a death sentence meted out by doctors. A physician who considers a patient to be near death may put the patient on the pathway, after which the patient will be heavily sedated and may have food and water withheld. On average, patients die within 33 hours of being put on the LCP.
Use of the LCP has expanded far beyond its creators’ intentions. As The New American reported in June, 29 percent of all patients who die under NHS care are on the LCP, leading British neurologist Patrick Pullicino to declare that the LCP has become an “assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway.”