Informed consent—have you heard of it? In a medical sense it ensures that a patient is aware of the risks involved in a particular treatment or procedure.
It also ensures that a patient has a clear understanding and accepted knowledge of the facts and any future consequences of an action that is to be taken.
Hospitals may be divesting elderly patients of key health elements such as fluid, medications, or proper nourishment to speed up their deaths as part of economizing measure to open up bed space.
Liverpool Care Pathway, which allows medical staff to withhold fluid and drugs in a patient’s final days are feeling no pressure as supporters claim it is the gentlest way of letting elderly patients reach death.
Are hospitals honestly using this controversial scheme to moderate tension on hospital resources?
Each and every year, tens of thousands of patients with terminal illnesses in the UK are placed on a “death pathway” to assist in ending their lives.
To ask or not to ask—that is seemingly the resolve that has heavily ignited the controversial warning sign from six doctors of Medical Ethics Alliance, a Christian medical organization.
The six doctors warned that Informed consent is not always being put into play, which has led to a notorious spike in patients carrying informative cards advising doctors that they do not wish to be put on the “death pathway”.
Former vice-chairman of the Medical Ethics Alliance, Dr. Gillian Craig, and five other doctors stated, there is no “scientific way of diagnosing imminent death.” Further indicating, “It is essentially a prediction, and it is possible that other considerations may come into reaching such a decision, not excluding the availability of resources.”
Advocates for Liverpool Care Pathway were eager to point out that LCP has been approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) and is backed by the Department of Health.
Health Problems Plaguing the Elderly
At the end of the day, a bigger question still lingers—who do I turn for high quality healthcare?
The decision to use any hospital service should meticulously involve a patient’s consent and be comprehensively sorted out. Patients and their families have to remain in control and be informed before making decisions about health care.
Do you believe doctors are supposed to identify patients who are “ready” to die?
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The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.