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Hospital patients face new euthanasia threat

7 April 2016

New end-of-life programmes are continuing the work of the Liverpool Care Pathway

Vulnerable patients in British hospitals are being put at risk of euthanasia from new end-of-life pathways.

A senior London doctor has brought it to SPUC's attention that, despite assurances from the government that it would end the notorious 'Liverpool Care Pathway' – an end of life programme which sped up the deaths of many patients by removal of food and fluid – such programmes continue to run, but in a new guise.

And these gruesome new death pathways are being practised without public knowledge, very much underneath the radar.

"Three days to live"

Under the new schemes, patients may ‘qualify’ for end-of-life dehydration and starvation should a doctor believe their death is likely to occur within three days – the very same three-day criteria that made the Liverpool Care Pathway such a disaster.

But, as any qualified medical person will tell you, it is nigh on impossible to predict with such a degree of accuracy when a sick person will die – especially for newer doctors.

In reality, a person thought to be dying can sometimes live for weeks, or even months. Some patients may even make a full recovery.

Sign our declaration of support

Thousands of patients assessed under these guidelines face being assigned to a slow, agonising death from starvation and/or dehydration.

SPUC's Lives Worth Living campaign is working to combat the adoption of these new death pathways in Britain’s hospitals, which pose such a grave threat to the lives of vulnerable patients.

You can support that campaign now by signing our declaration of support, which calls on the Secretary of State for Health to protect people who are sick, terminally-ill, disabled or incapacitated and to resist all and any moves which undermine the right to life of patients.

Liverpool Care Pathway

SPUC was the first group to sound the alarm over the Liverpool Care Pathway way back in September 2008, in our Pro-Life Times newspaper. 

After growing protests from doctors and patients’ relatives, a government review panel led by Baroness Neuberger concluded in 2013 that the Liverpool Care Pathway was to be phased out. With your continued support we can expose these new pathways and ensure that dying patients are cared for with respect and allowed to die a natural, dignified death.

Visit our Lives Worth Living campaign page now, and sign our declaration of support for vulnerable people.

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