Friday, December 2, 2011

Death by Liverpool Care Pathway

Loved ones not always told their relative is on controversial 'death pathway'

NHS doctors are failing to inform up to half of families that their loved ones have been put on a scheme to help end their lives, the Royal College of Physicians has found.   Telegraph.

I watched my husband die in a hospice which used the Liverpool Care Pathway. It was revolting experience and I was truly horrified and shocked. My husband had chosen to die but I am not sure he realized just how horrible his death  would be for him and me.

My husband Miles was 72 and had a very rare blood disease MDS. He struggled on for 9 months and then decided that he had had enough. He had the choice of staying in hospital or going to the hospice. Miles made the wrong choice for even though he was dying Miles needed to be treated.

Miles did not wish to bleed to death and he needed platelets but these were denied him in the hospice although he had been promised them in the hospital. Fully conscious Miles was slowly bleeding  to death in front of my eyes. I had a blazing row with the staff who told me they did not treat and even if it were allowed they had no free staff to collect the platelets from the blood bank. Eventually I walked  the 15 minutes to the hospital and got the platelets myself. What they were allowing to happen was inhumane.

They stopped the anti biotics and his eye started to fall out! Again I made them put him back on anti biotics and again I had a row to get them to do this.

Immediately he got there he was put on drugs and started twitching. I know now that this is an adverse reaction to these drugs and he soon lost consciousness. I also caught one of the staff handling him very roughly which I found offensive. I was too stressed to do anything about this.

Meals and drink are placed on a tray beside the bed but of course the patient is so ill he or she cannot eat it. They don't starve you as they present the meals but no one feeds you.  The food is there, the water is there - Oh it is so clever.

I fed him with Complan but eventually the drugs took hold. He obviously wanted a drink. Miles was literally dying of thirst. If I swabbed his mouth with water his tongue sort out the moisture. He dried out in front of me. I felt this lack of water treatment was worthy of Belsen. This I found the most distressing of all.

It took seven days to kill him for that is the only way I can describe the Liverpool Care Pathway. They could kill anyone that way. I would not treat my cat in such a fashion. As it happened my cat had to be put down at the same time and I think the cat had the best of it! My cat died with dignity  at the vets and that is more than can be said for my husband in the hospice.

It was his choice and it is apparently legal but I am not going anywhere near a hospice. I do not want to die of thirst. I think if the public were aware of the cruelty that the Liverpool Care Pathway entails it would be stopped instantly. 

I am disgusted that this cruel way to die is not even discussed with the patients' families. The sooner we are allowed to die with dignity like my cat the better.

1 comment:

  1. Liverpool Care Pathway care is not palliative care; it is not even care. I thoroughly endorse your comments.

    I have taken the liberty of quoting your post on my own blog here:
    Liverpool Care Pathway: A National Scandal

    I left two responses to the Telegraph article you cite on 2nd December

    With the introduction of LCP, killing has become a ‘legal’ therapy!

    These are dangerous and frightening times.