A report on Professor Patrick Pullicino’s comments about The Liverpool Care Pathway which was published the The Daily Mail was based on sweeping generalisations and lacked accuracy says John Kleinsman, Director of The Nathaniel Centre – the New Zealand Catholic Bioethics Centre.
Pullicino was reported as saying doctors had turned the use of the Liverpool Care Pathway into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly. The Liverpool Care Pathway, which was created at the Marie Curie Hospice in Liverpool in the 1990s, is used in New Zealand with Ministry of Health funding.
“It is alarmist to say that patients ‘are being killed’ by The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP). It is incorrect to say, as reported, that it brings about the death of patients in the sense of causing their death. For persons who are dying the LCP is designed to provide caregivers with a set of standards that define quality care,” Kleinsman said.
“It arose out of the hospice care system and has been developed as a way of ensuring excellence in, and consistency of, care. The overwhelming majority of people are able to experience better care at the end of life than they would have previously. It provides a mechanism for accountability and a means to standardise care across the country.”
“It is a mistake to equate the introduction of LCP with euthanasia. Of course, like any tool, it is only as good as those who are using it. We do need to maintain vigilance to make sure that patients are receiving the level of care that accords with their human dignity,” said Kleinsman.
- The Nathaniel Centre
- Image: Bedfordnow.co.uk
News category: New Zealand.