Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
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Doctor alleges massive euthanasia in Britain

June 21, 2012

Speaking at a meeting of the Royal Society of Medicine, a respected neuroscientist said that euthanasia has become part of the “standard way of dying” in Great Britain.

Patrick Pullicino says that the Liverpool Care Pathway—a protocol under which food and water are withdrawn from patients whose death is deemed imminent—is now routinely used with elderly patients who could recover. Pullicino, professor of clinical neurosciences at the University of Kent and former chairman of the Department of Neurology and Neurosciences at New Jersey Medical School, said that “pressure on beds and difficulty with nursing confused or difficult-to-manage elderly patients” has led to a situation in which euthanasia has become “part of the standard way of dying, as it is now associated with 29% of NHS [National Health Services] deaths.”


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  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2012 7:38 AM ET USA

    Dan, if you read the article carefully, you will see that the doctor is misusing statistics to amplify the experience he had with a single patient. It is simply not true that 29 percent of NHS patients who died in the past year were euthanized. The figure refers to something else entirely. There is a better, more balanced article in the (very conservative) Daily Telegraph.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 22, 2012 2:30 PM ET USA

    @CatherineNY: So, a prominent physician who has nothing to gain but damage to his reputation, ostracism from his profession, and the possible loss of his position, reveals what he regards as a horrible abuse and gross negligence of care (after all, these people are dying), and cites a statistic of 29% to back up his anecdotal observations, and you dismiss it all as "sensationalism" from the Daily Mail? Yes, the Daily Mail has a reputation, but there seems to be more to it than exaggeration.

  • Posted by: demark8616 - Jun. 22, 2012 2:55 AM ET USA

    We are truly living the 'The Culture of Death'(Pope John Paul II). The value & dignity of human life and it's participation in the Divine is, to many, a far overrated thing when convenience or money is involved. "...The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory..."

  • Posted by: - Jun. 21, 2012 7:21 PM ET USA

    This is typical Daily Mail sensationalism. What is described is not euthanasia, which is illegal in Britain. The doctor in the article is able to offer only one example from his own experience, and uses it to characterize nearly a third of deaths in the NHS as euthanasia.