Tragedy of the of Liverpool Care Pathway

By Wesley J. Smith

patienthandsThese are the consequence of centralizing healthcare under bureaucratic control. Deprofessionalization.  Medicine practiced by the numbers. The most weak and vulnerable victimized.

The tragedy of the Liverpool Care Pathway tells the awful tale. Originally designed to prevent NHS patients from dying in agony, the LCP was applied bluntly rather than in a nuanced and individualized manner. Patients were dehydrated to death. People were rendered unconscious who didn’t need that level of palliation. The well-intended LCP became a door for back door euthanasia.

Now, it is being euthanized. From the Telegraph story:

“The controversial Liverpool Care Pathway used to ‘manage’ the death of terminally ill NHS patients is to be scrapped following an official review, ministers will announce next week. Doctors are expected to be told that, rather than an inflexible national system, each patient in the final days or weeks of their lives should have a personalised treatment plan agreed with their families.”

Good grief! That is how medicine is supposed to be practiced: Individually!

We in the USA have no grounds for looking down our noses. The same fate awaits us under Obamacare unless we dismantle its centralized control authority before it really begins to bite.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s fine blog.