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POLITICS

A British ‘death panel’ horror story

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein,Politics Digest

Liberals typically criticize the American health care system for being inhumane, and they often use medical horror stories to promote their case for more government control. But this shocking story from the Daily Mail demonstrates what can happen when the government takes control of personal life and death decisions:

An elderly woman died alone after doctors failed to tell relatives they were ending her life on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway.

Olive Goom, 85, passed away with no one by her side after medics neglected to consult with her family about her treatment at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital….

As Miss Goom lay dying alone, staff reassured relatives on the phone just hours before her death that there was no urgent need to visit – even though doctors had already removed tubes providing vital food and fluids.

Her family discovered that she had died only when her niece went to visit her and found she was already being prepared for the mortuary. They said last night that they will never be able to stop feeling guilty that no one was there in her final hours.

The Mail has been contacted by several families who claim that relatives were put on the Liverpool Care Pathway – the controversial system designed to ease the suffering of the dying in their final hours – without any consultation.

Some said they found out that their relatives were on the pathway only after they happened to read their medical notes; and by that time it was too late.

The process involves withdrawing life-saving treatment and can involve the heavy sedation of a patient and the removal of tubes providing food and fluid. Thousands of patients every year are placed on the pathway, which was devised in the 1990s as a means of easing pain when it is impossible for a patient to recover and death is imminent.

This is the dark side that gets left out when liberals tout the health outcomes that socialized medical systems achieve while spending less per capita than the United States.

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