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UK Hospitals Get Rewards For Death ‘Pathway’

From the UK’s Telegraph:

NHS millions for controversial care pathway

By John Bingham | 31 Oct 2012

The majority of NHS hospitals in England are being given financial rewards for placing terminally-ill patients on a controversial “pathway” to death, it can be disclosed.

Well, at least they don’t have death panels.

Almost two thirds of NHS trusts using the Liverpool Care Pathway have received payouts totalling millions of pounds for hitting targets related to its use, research for The Daily Telegraph shows.

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal the full scale of financial inducements for the first time.

They suggest that about 85 per cent of trusts have now adopted the regime, which can involve the removal of hydration and nutrition from dying patients.

More than six out of 10 of those trusts – just over half of the total – have received or are due to receive financial rewards for doing so amounting to at least £12million [$19 million].

That is, they are being rewarded for denying water and food to patients. It’s sort of like the Obama administration’s push to get more people on food stamps. Only different.

At many hospitals more than 50 per cent of all patients who died had been placed on the pathway and in one case the proportion of foreseeable deaths on the pathway was almost nine out of 10.

Last night the Department of Health insisted that the payments could help ensure that people were “treated with dignity in their final days and hours”…

After all, there is nothing more dignified than starving to death or dying of thirst.

It involves the withdrawal of treatments or tests from patients which doctors believe could cause distress and do more harm than good.

Protocols say that doctors should consult the patient, if possible, and their families…

But if not possible… go ahead, anyway.

But the system has been mired in controversy amid claims that it can actively hasten death.

What nonsense. How could denying a patient food and water "actively hasten death"?

A series of cases have also come to light in which family members said they were not consulted or even informed when food and fluids were withheld from their loved-ones. In some instances patients placed on the pathway because doctors judged that they were nearing the end of their life went on to recover.

According to responses from a sample of 72 trusts, at least £12.4 million [$20 million] has been paid out in the past two to three years to trusts which hit targets associated with use of the care pathway. But the full figure could be more than £20 million [$32 million].

Under a system known as “Commissioning for Quality and Innovation” (CQUIN), local NHS commissioners pay trusts for meeting targets to “reward excellence” in care. These can range from simply recruiting a set number of people to classes to help them stop smoking to providing specialist end-of-life services on wards – such as LCP.

What a mixed message they are giving. To be consistent, they should encourage smoking.

As the goals are set locally, they vary from area to area but in some cases trusts are given specific targets to ensure that a set number of people who die in their hospital are on the LCP.

Death quotas?

Elsewhere the targets relate to how the pathway is operated or monitored.

Each Trust was asked how many people had died on the LCP over the past three years and how much money received in that period was attached to goals involving it. Overall 61 of those which responded said that they used the pathway, translating to 85 per cent of the total.

Of those, 62 per cent disclosed that they had either received, or expect to receive, cash rewards for meeting targets associated with the implementation of the pathway. The remainder said they had adopted the LCP without receiving any payments…

Which is pretty sick, too.

But don’t worry. This could never happen in the US. It’s even ridiculous to talk about death panels here.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, November 1st, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “UK Hospitals Get Rewards For Death ‘Pathway’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    15 elected “deciders”

    Never forget that

  2. Anonymoose says:

    I still remember how there was a medicine that could save people’s eyesight but it would only be rationed out after the patient had gone blind in one eye.

    And who’s to decide if you’re really terminal or not? If you’re 85 and had a stroke, but could still go on another 3-5 years with therapy and have a reasonable quality of life, wouldn’t it be worth it? Or will they simply be shuffled off the coil to make way to pay for the childcare of another unemployed teenager?

    Surely even the politicians can see the madness….but I guess as long as they get votes that’s all that matters.

  3. River0 says:

    The UK is a dead nation in many ways, not just morally, but materially and spiritually. I lived there for many years and hate to say that, but it can no longer be ignored. Their Prime Minister said a month ago that he didn’t know what Magna Carta meant. This is a stupendous lie, coming from an Eton and Oxford educated man. Why would he lie? We all know why.

    The British convinced themselves in the 20th Century that their days of Empire were not much more than a holocaust for the developing world, and that they had to atone for their ‘sins’ in some way. So they embraced the Liberal, crypto-Marxist, UN mode of thought, that the world is a collective, and the collective determines all things.

    The Western Tradition is dead meat in the hands of the global collective.

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