Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Act to stop Liverpool Care Pathway being used as "backdoor euthanasia"

My colleague, Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, has issued the following stark appeal this afternoon concerning the Liverpool Care Pathway.

Please Act Now to stop the Liverpool Care Pathway being used as 
“backdoor euthanasia” for NHS patients

A number of families have spoken out in the media about the abuses their loved ones have suffered as a result of being put on the Liverpool Care Pathway in hospitals and nursing homes.

Several senior doctors have publicly criticised the use of the Pathway, asserting that it can mean hastening death for vulnerable patients. Patients are dying as a result of the Pathway – not simply from their underlying conditions.

In the face of these criticisms, the government asked Baroness Julia Neuberger to chair a “review” panel. The panel is receiving submissions (letters, emails, etc) from anyone with concerns about the Liverpool Care Pathway. Anyone can make a submission, but the experience of those who have been affected is particularly important (such as patients or relatives, healthcare staff, chaplains, visitors, etc).

The deadline for submissions is Friday, 5 April 2013.

Send submissions to:
Liverpool Care Pathway Review
Department of Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall
London SW1A 2NS

or by email to:

The review panel has not issued a questionnaire or pro-forma for submissions, so you can write to them in any format you wish, but we give some suggestions below about how to set out your concerns.

The composition of the Neuberger review panel includes leading pro-euthanasia advocates – David Aaronovitch and Professor Emily Jackson; and Baroness Neuberger herself has said (in the annual Tyburn lecture in 2011) that she had “ ... some sympathy with the idea that that people who are already terminally ill and finding their situation unbearable, that they should be given the wherewithal to take their own lives ... ”

It is important that they receive clear statements defending vulnerable people (especially the elderly) from attack, whether by medical abuses or by having the law amended or ignored so that vulnerable people can have their lives deliberately shortened by act or by omission. Please point out that the review panel has no brief to recommend weakening legal protection for the lives of patients.

Contact me at johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk for SPUC's briefing on preparing a submission for the Liverpool Care Pathway Review.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
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