by Hans Johnson

Many see the Affordable Care Act as the first step down the road toward emulating Britain’s health system, as celebrated during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

In a recent speech to the Royal Society of Medicine in London, Professor Patrick  Pullicino charged that some 130,000 patients are “allowed to die” or, rather, are killed off every year. That is about 29% of the 450,000 deaths in British hospitals and hospices under National Health Service care.

He  decried the misuse of the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway.  This medical protocol was to be used when doctors were of the opinion that a patient could not recover and that death was imminent. The LCP dictates the withdrawal of treatment such as the provision of water and nourishment by feeding tube, as well as any medicine – save for the heavy use of painkillers. This results in the patient’s death in 33 hours, on average.

Professor Pullicino noted:

The lack of evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway makes it an “assisted death pathway” rather than a “care pathway.” Very likely many elderly patients are frequently put on the Pathway without  a proper analysis of their condition. Predicting death in a time-frame of two to four days – or even at any other specific time – is not possible scientifically. This determination in the LCP leads to a  self-fulfilling prophecy. The personal views of the physician or other medical team members of perceived quality of life or low likelihood of a good outcome are probably central in putting a patient on the LCP. If we accept the Liverpool Care Pathway, we accept that euthanasia is part o the standard of dying , as it is now associated with 29% of NHS deaths .

If Obamacare leads to health care rationing there may be no need for “death panels” if such a policy is made standard operating procedure

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