Death On The Wards: Channel 4 Dispatches
Tonight Dispatches investigates the allegations that tens of thousands of seriously ill people have been put on the road to death in a way likened to that of legalised euthanasia. Dispatches hears claims from families that doctors have thoughtlessly killed off patients with months or even years still left to live.
We hear testimonies and stories from specialists in the field, terminally ill patients and victims families, and the results of a survey of thousands of doctors into how the process of dying is managed in UK hospitals, the first of its kind, are revealed.
The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is intended to ease the painful process of dying for both patients and families, in which a key principle is not to treat a patient’s underlying condition if the treatment is judged to be unlikely to work or harmful to the patient. The introduction of official guidelines now mean that every hospital and hospice must have an approved end of life pathway, and that of the LCP seems to be by far the most prevalent.
Around 130,000 people died after being placed on the LCP last year and many of us can expect for our deaths and the deaths of our loved ones to be managed using the pathway, albeit with the hugely controversial nature of the process. People with illnesses such as strokes, as well as those with terminal cancer are being put on the pathway, leading some families to claim that their relatives could and should have lived longer.
Tonight, 8pm, Channel 4. Leave your comments below.
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