Government health-care guidelines have no other purposes than looking after our best interests, right? Or maybe not.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.
Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.
But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.
The warning comes just a week after a report by the Patients Association estimated that up to one million patients had received poor or cruel care on the NHS.
The scheme, called the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), was designed to reduce patient suffering in their final hours.
Not to be overly flip about this, but yes, indeed, death has a way of reducing patient suffering. But honestly, if you don’t see the slippery slope here, it’s probably because you’re already at the bottom of it.by