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The Euthanasia Trojan Horse

Posted by MDViews on September 4, 2009

The Euthanasia Trojan Horse

 

The UK Telegraph reports a euthanasia scheme which now shocks the citizens of the UK. The British, beneficiaries of a one-payor, government system, have to wonder how this came to be. How could the government be killing all these people?

 

To summarize, the UK cancer charity, Marie Currie, developed a protocol called the Liverpool Care Pathway. Designed initially for terminal cancer patients, this pathway received the endorsement of NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (I’m not making this up) and soon became a standard of care nationwide.

 

This pathway uses the judgment of a medical team including the senior doctor to determine when the end of life is near. (As you might imagine, if a “team” makes a decision, no one person can be held accountable.) At such a time, the doctor withholds food and fluids (starves and dehydrates the patient to death) while administering a sedative to usher the soon-to-be dear departed from this world to the next. (In Minnesota, you can’t starve or dehydrate an pet without risking jail time.)

 

Initially only for terminal cancer, the pathwway now applies to any critical illnes.

 

Some British doctors think the problem is this: How can one accurately determine when is the end near? How does a doctor determine that a patient is about to die? Such a determination is a guess at best, and sometimes just a hunch. So if a patient gets a large amount of sedation and is denied fluids and food, how would one know if the patient might have improved? One would not know and the patient would die a premature death.

 

So a group of experts in geriatrics and palliative care including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke’s cancer center in Guildford, and four others have complained.

Dr Hargreaves, Millard and Katherine Murphy, head of the Patients Association, explain in the report,

[Dr. Hargreaves]“It is a very laudable idea. But the concern is that it is tick box medicine that stops people thinking.”

He said that he had personally taken patients off the pathway who went on to live for “significant” amounts of time and warned that many doctors were not checking the progress of patients enough to notice improvement in their condition.

Prof Millard said that it was “worrying” that patients were being “terminally” sedated, using syringe drivers, which continually empty their contents into a patient over the course of 24 hours.

In 2007-08 16.5 per cent of deaths in Britain came about after continuous deep sedation, according to researchers at the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, twice as many as in Belgium and the Netherlands.

If they are sedated it is much harder to see that a patient is getting better,” Prof Millard said.

Katherine Murphy, director of the Patients Association, said: “ …There is no one size fits all approach.”

A spokesman for Marie Curie [advocates of the current systerm] said: “The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is an established and recommended tool that provides clinicians with an evidence-based framework to help delivery of high quality care for people at the end of their lives.

So this “tick box” [check box for us] medicine, this “evidence-based framework”, this “Liverpool Care Pathway” embraced by NICE and implemented by the British NHS has resulted in active euthanasia of very ill citizens of the UK. It’s abortion at the other extreme of life, the very old and sick.  Who knows if those people killed by this protocol would have had time to impact their world or family prior to death? Who knows if fractured relationships may have been healed without the starvation, dehydration and sedation? Who knows if someone may have heard the gospel for the first time and responded had not the “evidence-based” death taken them too soon?

I am sickened. Sickened that this occurs in the UK. Sickened that the only problem seems to be killing people too soon. (Why kill them at all? What’s wrong with food and water?) I am sickened that medicine in these United States has embraced every buzzword mentioned above such as evidence-based medicine, best practices, care pathways and protocols. And each of these schemes places a rule-setting committee between the patient and the doctor. By removing the doctor’s judgment from the care of each individual patient, pushing medicine into euthansia, rationing of care and denial of service becomes easy.

Be glad, dear friend, that we in the U.S. are in the infancy of the evidence-based, best practice jugernaut. Be glad we do not have a one payor system (yet) that can foist such atrocities on our sick and dying with the heavy hand of governmental power. But worry, please. Worry and act to stop this from becoming reality.

Matt Anderson

5 Responses to “The Euthanasia Trojan Horse”

  1. Lindsay said

    Did the doctors make the desicion to kill the patients with or without the patients or families consent? I am doing an essay on euthanasia and any information you have would be appreciate greatly.

  2. MDViews said

    Dear Tina,

    Removing someone from a ventilator (breathing machine) is a decision without one easy answer. In general, prolife Christians err on the side of preserving life even if that means a ventilator. Sometimes, however, at the end of a long life with insurmountable illness or disease, prolife Christians argue that discontinuing a ventilator is OK. One should always provide food and water and care to anyone ill or dying, regardless the severity of the illness. Some view a ventilator as over and above compassionate care.

    Hope that helps, Matt A.

  3. Tina said

    Could you help me understand when it is okay to take someone off the breathing machine. Just today someone in my family died as a result of the doctors/family taking him off his breathing machine. Is this okay to do as a Christian? Thank you.

  4. In the late 1990’s I resigned from the International College of Surgeons over a similar event. I had worked my way up through the political ranks in the organization until I was”in the chute”…and in line where, if I “kept my nose clean” and continued to do a good job, I could in the not too distant future, be consideration for President of the organization. However, on the program for that meeting, there was “Dr. Death” listed on the program in a discussion regarding Euthanasia.

    At the Executive Committee, I asked about how and who had taken on themselves to consider a discussion on Euthanasia at an International Medical Meeting. No one would admit to any knowledged of how this topic appeared on the program.

    When back back in the Bible Belt South,after due consideration,I wrote a letter of resignation. I have never regretted my decision. My conscience is clear,my Hypocratic Oath remains intact and I no longer belong to and support by my dues, a Medical Association that ostensibley sanctions Eugenics and murder of the old, the infermed, the cancer patient and abortions.

    It is shameful how the Organizations to which Physicians pay dues…who are supposed to be looking out for us, are in the pocket of the Devil and the Government and their interest remains in our dues and their control over us and our specialty societies…not in the interest of the Medicine to which we vowed in the Hippocratic Oath.

  5. Ceecee said

    Euthanasia is a form of murder. Assisted suicide leads to euthanasia. It’s a slippery slope. It’s presented to us as a form of compassion and mercy. But it’s really about medical “experts” and decision makers who want the right to kill.

    We’ve got to stop this. If we want socialized medicine, OK. Even if we don’t want it, but can’t stop it, we should throw all pro-death elements out of it.

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