Monday 22 July 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway: 1st pro-life group to sound alarm welcomes review's recommendation

The first pro-life group to sound the alarm about the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) has welcomed a report's recommendation that the LCP be replaced.

SPUC Pro-Life warned about the LCP as long ago as September 2008, in an article ("Liverpool Care Pathway – comfort for the dying or backdoor euthanasia?") in our newspaper The Pro-Life Times.

The Council of SPUC Pro-Life, our democratically-elected governing body of grassroots activists, passed the following motion yesterday:

"This Council:
  • welcomes the call by Baroness Neuberger's review panel for the Liverpool Care Pathway to be phased out;
  • salutes those relatives who have struggled to protect patients on the LCP;
  • thanks all health care staff responsible for raising concerns about the LCP in public;
  • congratulates the Pro-Life Times for raising concerns about the LCP in 2008;
  • welcomes any proposal to prioritise ethical individualised care, which should include patient assessment by competent individuals and which should avoid not only over-burdensome treatment, but should also avoid over-sedation, neglect and the wrongful withdrawal of nutrition and hydration; and
  • urges the Executive Committee to maintain its vigilance to identify and resist approaches which entail or lend themselves to euthanasia or assisted suicide."
Anthony McCarthy of SPUC Pro-Life told the media:
"SPUC welcomes the recognition, by an independent review, that the Liverpool Care Pathway is "the wrong approach" to end-of-life care and that it "should be replaced over the next six to 12 months.

"SPUC Pro-Life has supported consistently those medics who have criticised vocally the LCP. We will be closely examining any new proposals that may be put forward following the review. SPUC Pro-Life will be doing so with caution and in the knowledge that we live in an increasingly euthanasiast culture."
The LCP's implementation was draconian, with brave consultants such as Professor Patrick Pullicino threatened for highlighting the deaths that it can cause. Brave medics, families of victims and enterprising journalists have been at the forefront of exposing this structurally deficient pathway, often receiving little support from establishment figures who disagreed on its dangers.

SPUC is opposed to the giving of burdensome treatment to patients for whom it is no longer appropriate. We are also opposed to neglect of any patient. We want to protect the lives and welfare of vulnerable people by giving them what they need, when they need it, knowing that life has value at every stage.

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