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Catholic World News

UK abandons controversial end-of-life medical protocol

July 19, 2013

The United Kingdom has announced that it will phase out the Liverpool Care Pathway, a protocol governing the medical care of patients who have been deemed to be dying. Critics have charged that the protocol has led to widespread euthanasia.

“Evidence given to the review has revealed too many serious cases of unacceptable care where the pathway has been incorrectly implemented,” said Baroness Julia Neuberger, the rabbi who led a government panel that examined the protocol.

“Examples include leaving patients without adequate nutrition, hydration, and inappropriately sedated,” she added. “This is not only awful for the patients, but it is deeply distressing to their relatives and carers.”


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  • Posted by: rpp - Jul. 19, 2013 5:43 PM ET USA

    I am so tired of all this health care mess. I am truly fed up with all the misinformation and outright lies. For me it has gotten to the point when I hear, "Hello, I am a health care professional, I am here to help." it means the same as if an IRS agent says "Hello, I am with the government, I am here to help." The honesty and credibility is at the same level.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Jul. 19, 2013 11:37 AM ET USA

    This is an area of tremendous need for improvement particularly in the U S. Hospice care is under utilized or poorly utilized all too often. It is an area of inadequate training for clinicians. Moving forward this must be addressed by a multi-disciplinary approach. Quite frankly, Catholic clinicians should be in the lead on this. Fear, ignorance and procrastination have no place. These troublesome impediments to appropriate, compassionate care must be overcome.