Is starvation “end of life” care?

UK doctors are revealing shocking stories of starvation as a method of “end of life” care for infants. It is policy, it seems, for National Health Service doctors to withdraw feeding tubes and fluids from children, as well as terminally ill and elderly patients, deemed to be suitable for an end of life regime called the “Liverpool Care Pathway” (the LCP). From the Daily Mail,

One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone.

Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician revealed the process can take an average of ten days during which a  baby becomes ‘smaller and shrunken’.

The LCP – on which 130,000 elderly and terminally-ill adult patients die each year – is now the subject of an independent inquiry ordered by ministers. […]

The use of end of life care methods on disabled newborn babies was revealed in the doctors’ bible, the British Medical Journal. 

Earlier this month, an un-named doctor wrote of the agony of watching the protracted deaths of babies. The doctor described one case of a baby born with ‘a lengthy list of unexpected congenital anomalies’, whose parents agreed to put it on the pathway.

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