A word from The Telegraph -
Mo Mowlam's doctor condemns Liverpool Care PathwayA senior cancer specialist, who treated Mo Mowlam during her last illness, has condemned end of life care in the NHS as corrupt and scandalous.
6:48AM GMT 05 Nov 2012
Professor Mark Glaser claimed the Liverpool Care Pathway, in use across the NHS as a way to “ease the suffering” of the dying, is employed by Health Service managers to clear bed space and achieve targets.
The consultant oncologist, who treated former Labour Cabinet minister Mrs Mowlam, told the Daily Mail practices in British hospitals are "morally bad medicine" and that he would personally "never be treated in a hospital in England".
“I would go to America because I don’t trust anybody,” he said.
He added that he has removed "dozens" of his own patients from the Liverpool Care Pathway.
The intervention by Professor Glaser, who works at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, comes at a time of growing concern over the Liverpool Care Pathway.
The pathway recommends how to remove life-saving treatment from patients considered to be dying with the appropriate pain relief. Typically a patient dies 29 hours later.
But families have complained that loved ones have been put on the Pathway when they were not dying and senior medical figures have said it is impossible to predict when a patient will die.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, has promised to reassure patients by making it a legal requirement for doctors to inform families when a patient goes on the Pathway, and to obtain their consent. He is expected to announce changes to the rules today.
But Professor Glaser, 67, who is in charge of radiotherapy at Charing Cross Hospital, in West London, said it was not enough.
He suggested the Pathway was used to clear beds and suggested the decision should be more to do with the individual, the doctor and the family.
“I would like to see a whole inquiry set up to look at patients with incurable diseases, and how patients can be managed within a time limit from the beginning of their pathway to really good pain control and symptom control at the end of the pathway. You can’t be just guided by admission rates and targets.
“There is nothing more intransigent and corrupt at the moment in medical practices as the hospice Liverpool Pathway movement.
‘It’s not really active or passive euthanasia, it’s negligence. But it is right that all the managers want the bed space and they will take down drips weeks earlier to get people out. That is a scandal.”