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Liverpool Care Pathway under scrutiny in UK

The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) should be phased out in England, an independent review is expected to say. It can offer a peaceful and dignified death but there have been problems with its implementation, the government-commissioned review is set to say. Health officials said the review was expected to recommend the LCP should be phased out within six to 12 months. BBC News today announced the government has ordered hospitals to carry out immediate reviews of their practices and announced the Liverpool Care Pathway will be phased out.The LCP was developped at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in conjunction with the city’s Marie Curie Hospice in the late 1990s.  It was intended to provide uniform, high-quality, dignified care for dying patients – whether they were in hospital, at home, in a care home or in a hospice, and served longtime as alternative for the feared physician assisted dying initiatives. 

The system can involve withdrawal of medication, food and fluids. Under the LCP, patients are regularly reviewed to ascertain whether medication should be stopped – and whether fluids should be withdrawn once they have ceased to be able to eat and drink. However, families have complained relatives were put on the pathway without their consent, and that death has been hastened in people who were not dying imminently.

(from BBC News) Full article to be read here.

BBC News today