Friday 22 June 2012


Professor says doctors use 'death pathway' to euthanasia of the elderly

Treatment on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours

Around 29 per cent of patients that die in hospital are on controversial 'care pathway'

Pensioner admitted to hospital given treatment by doctor on weekend shift
Last year I was privy to a conversation I would not wish upon my worst enemy. My failing mother, at 93, had spent the last few years in and out of the hospital as her body began to break down at an ever increasing speed. Always an intensely proper but social and lively woman of the old school, childhood polio and advanced Parkinson’s were ravaging her body and she lived in constant pain. How she hated ANY drugs that impinged upon her clarity of thought! She had discussed suicide once or twice but, being raised Roman Catholic, would not have ever taken such a step. However, a child of the Depression she felt obliged to struggle on to the bitter end.

Each time Mom had to go to the hospital the care she received was beyond excellent although I was there to coax her to eat, brought her her favourite foods, but she would return home with less stamina than before. Then that hidden pneumonia that creeps up on seniors hit. We made it through the first bout with considerable hospital time but the second time, she was now so frail and she did not want to remain in the hospital.

One evening she fell and I took her in so the doctors could check for fractures; she had none, but the doctor suggested she be checked in for tests the next day. In some distress obvious only to me, she refused, fearing another lengthy hospital stay.  A young whippersnapper of a doctor with a wonderful manner came to speak to her and discuss her situation. He did not speak down to her, he spoke to her with utmost respect and dignity, medical peer to medical peer, using her past career in the medical field as an equalizer of sorts.

While we had been waiting, despite her affairs all being in order, she was having me take notes for her funeral, a very painful thing to do but it gave her serenity. The upshot of the conversation was that this doctor gave her permission to die, that fighting was honourable but she was not obliged to do so unless she wanted it. He told her to think of her own wishes and that she had lived a long and very fulfilling life. She spoke to him of her 10 deceased older siblings whom she dreamt of constantly and asked if they were waiting for her.

The entire conversation was maybe 15 minutes but the upshot was he told her it was her decision what to do and that she was greatly loved but not to let that love hold her back from what she, in her spirit, felt was right for her, that he knew her family only wanted what she wanted. Every word was the absolute truth. Mom told him she wanted to die at home surrounded by those she loved, not in a hospital and so I took her home. Within two months she slipped away peacefully in her own bed surrounded by her children and grandchildren who had been in attendance constantly during the last few weeks.

The care and assistance we received from the system was absolutely beyond amazing and all went as it should and, painful as it was, we could only be in awe of the support we/she received at this painful time. 

Giving a confused old woman permission to die in front of a family member while still offering her the option of care as this young man did is a far cry from what you will read from the British news below!



Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial 'death pathway' into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly
NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds, a senior consultant claimed yesterday.

Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial ‘death pathway’ into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly.

He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway, a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country.

It is designed to come into force when doctors believe it is impossible for a patient to recover and death is imminent.

It can include withdrawal of treatment ~ including the provision of water and nourishment by tube ~ and on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours.

There are around 450,000 deaths in Britain each year of people who are in hospital or under NHS care. Around 29 per cent ~ 130,000 ~ are of patients who were on the LCP.

Professor Pullicino claimed that far too often elderly patients who could live longer are placed on the LCP and it had now become an ‘assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway’.

He cited ‘pressure on beds and difficulty with nursing confused or difficult-to-manage elderly patients’ as factors.
Professor Pullicino revealed he had personally intervened to take a patient off the LCP who went on to be successfully treated.

He said this showed that claims they had hours or days left are ‘palpably false’. 
In the example he revealed a 71-year-old who was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia and epilepsy was put on the LCP by a covering doctor on a weekend shift. 

Professor Pullicino said he had returned to work after a weekend to find the patient unresponsive and his family upset because they had not agreed to place him on the LCP.

‘I removed the patient from the LCP despite significant resistance,’ he said.

‘His seizures came under control and four weeks later he was discharged home to his family,’ he said.

Professor Pullicino, a consultant neurologist for East Kent Hospitals and Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Kent, was speaking to the Royal Society of Medicine in London.

The professor has claimed an approved technique of looking after the terminally ill is not being used in all hospitals
He said: 

‘The lack of evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway makes it an assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway.
‘Very likely many elderly patients who could live substantially longer are being killed by the LCP.

‘Patients are frequently put on the pathway without a proper analysis of their condition.

‘Predicting death in a time frame of three to four days, or even at any other specific time, is not possible scientifically.

This determination in the LCP leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The personal views of the physician or other medical team members of perceived quality of life or low likelihood of a good outcome are probably central in putting a patient on the LCP.’
He added:
‘If we accept the Liverpool Care Pathway we accept that euthanasia is part of the standard way of dying as it is now associated with 29 per cent of NHS deaths.’
The LCP was developed in the North West during the 1990s and recommended to hospitals by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in 2004. 

Medical criticisms of the Liverpool Care Pathway were voiced nearly three years ago. 

Experts including Peter Millard, emeritus professor of geriatrics at the University of London, and Dr Peter Hargreaves, palliative care consultant at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, Surrey, warned of ‘backdoor euthanasia’ and the risk that economic factors were being brought into the treatment of vulnerable patients.

In the example of the 71-year-old, Professor Pullicino revealed he had given the patient another 14 months of life by demanding the man be removed from the LCP.
Professor Pullicino said the patient was an Italian who spoke poor English, but was living with a ‘supportive wife and daughter’. He had a history of cerebral haemorrhage and subsequent seizures.

Professor Pullicino said: ‘I found him deeply unresponsive on a Monday morning and was told he had been put on the LCP. He was on morphine via a syringe driver.’ He added: ‘I removed the patient from the LCP despite significant resistance.’

The patient’s extra 14 months of life came at considerable cost to the NHS and the taxpayer, Professor Pullicino indicated.

He said he needed extensive support with wheelchair, ramps and nursing. 

After 14 months the patient was admitted to a different hospital with pneumonia and put on the LCP. The man died five hours later.  

A Department of Health spokesman said:
‘The Liverpool Care Pathway is not euthanasia and we do not recognize these figures. The pathway is recommended by NICE and has overwhelming support from clinicians ~ at home and abroad ~ including the Royal College of Physicians.
‘A patient’s condition is monitored at least every four hours and, if a patient improves, they are taken off the Liverpool Care Pathway and given whatever treatments best suit their new needs.’


  1. dr, professor pullicino, is correct in the disgusting liverpool death pathway

  2. professor pullicino, proffesor peter millard, dr. peter hargreaves, 2 professors 1 doctor all experienced in this field of work plus the mail the telegraph god almighty this liverpool so called care pathway should be executed itself, its worse than what dr. mengali did in the hitler madness experiments, these are not it is cold blooded back door euthanasia stop the killings it could be you next sign the ongoing petition

  3. how can the nhs doctors be allowed to get away with this murderous pathway to death when you have got top doctors saying it is wrong it is a crime against humanity and has got to stop, its the most barbaric non treatment system ever to be used, saving money and beds but killing patients to do it, they should be hung for murder bring back the death penalty.


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