Elderly hospital patients are being assessed by doctors as dying and then commenced onto something called 'The Liverpool Care pathway' even though they may not be presenting any known terminal condition. The 'care' pathway, originally designed to be used only for terminally ill patients with end-stage cancer, had it's use extended several years ago so that it could be applied to any elderly hospital patient who a doctor assesses to be 'very ill'.
Patients presenting recoverable conditions like chest infections are being placed onto the pathway simply because the doctor in charge of their 'care' thinks it unlikely they'd be capable of coming through them. All treatment is then withdrawn from the so-called dying patient including fluids. Though doctors are then expected to restart treatment if the patient shows unexpected signs of recovery several days later, concerns have been raised that by having fluids denied for several days will mean that some patients are going on to die from conditions they had not been dying from, may not even have had, when they'd been commenced onto the pathway - such as kidney failure.
The way the Liverpool Care Pathway is being applied does make it certain that some elderly patients are dying when they would not have done so had they not been commenced to the death pathway. Instead they would have gone on to make full recoveries, able to walk out of the hospital well enough to carry on collecting their state pensions every week for many more years.
In other news the government announced earlier this week that the state retirement age is to be raised to 67 from the year 2026.