Saturday 3 December 2011

Tough, loving, health-care professionals need support

In response to a number of posts I've published in recent weeks concerning the growing danger to vulnerable patients, put on the Liverpool Care Pathway, of being killed through the Pathway - as a number of doctors and new research have pointed out - I received an eloquent message from one of the visitors to my blog:
Dear John,

Having spent 46 years as a member of the nursing profession I have witnessed many politically-based healthcare changes during that period. One of the many changes that concern me is the of 'end of life' care issue that is purely economicaly based. I worked mainly in the 'care of the elderly' sector for five years before I retired and I particularly felt disturbed by the implemented 'end of life' frameworks that seemed too ambiguous for my liking. I made it clear from day one that I would not implement any of the frameworks when the elderly were in my care. There was a policy whereby the nurse in charge must send for the Advance Practitioners if deterioration occurred which I firmly ignored on one particular occassion when caring for a dying resident who welcomed the tiny amounts of water I placed on his lips whilst I privately prayed the Divine Mercy for him. I firmly agree with Ann Farmer that there is nothing to be gained by asking an elderly, often confused person about their impending death. In my experience elderly people in care often make the comment "I don't want to die". If it is considered to be caring to ask some of the most vulnerable members of our society, who have often worked hard to support their families and have a wisdom that comes with long life where and how they wish to die then we are no longer a nation based on true compassion but rather misguided compassion ... "

Sincerely etc ...
Compassionate, tough, health professionals like my correspondent, who are prepared to protect their patients in defiance of cruel or lethal health care regimes, and who are not afraid to take their Christian faith into the workplace, will not survive in the current political climate in the health care services - unless, as I urged yesterday, we are truly vigilant in the care of our relatives and loved ones.

I say once again: If you are concerned about the treatment somebody you know may be receiving then contact Patients First Network, SPUC's service which confronts the NHS' practise of silent euthanasia. I urge readers to check whether the Pathway is being operated in hospitals, hospices or care homes where you live. If so, please write to the management there and draw their attention courteously to the concerns which continue to be expressed about the Liverpool Care Pathway by leading medical professionals.

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