“Death Panels” Alive and Well in the UK – Is US Next?
The UK has a government healthcare system much like the one Obama wants to implement here in the States. It’s run by the National Health Service and is funded mostly by taxes. Different “care pathways” are used to manage each patient’s health depending on the severity of illness. If the patient’s condition is beyond treatable and death is imminent, the patient is put on the “Liverpool Care Pathway for the dying patient” (LCP). The LCP functions much like hospice care here in the US. Its function is to keep patients as comfortable and pain-free as possible in their last hours of life.
Nourishment is provided by tube, strong sedatives such as morphine are administered, and since treatment for their illness is halted, patients usually die within about 33 hours of being placed on the LCP. Nearly 30% of people who die in the hospital every year in the UK are people on the LCP. That’s about 130,000 people. Some are deeply concerned that doctors are taking advantage of this particular care pathway by using it as a tool to euthanize thousands of elderly patients per year.