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Death panels

UK doctors put infants, newborns on 'end of life' death treatments

Monday, April 08, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: death panels, infants, end-of-life care

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(NaturalNews) State-sponsored euthanasia ought to shock and outrage every compassionate, sensible human being, but unfortunately there are still too many people willing to trust government-run healthcare managed by faceless bean counters.

Great Britain's National Health Service is often held up by progressives, academics and Obamacare supporters as a model for the United States to follow. But as this story indicates, healthcare systems that are managed by bureaucrats and lawyers, instead of health professionals and those trained in healthcare administration, preside over a grotesque delivery mechanism that cares less for human life and dignity than budgets and the bottom line.

According to Britain's Daily Mail, a number of doctors and nurses interviewed by the newspaper said they had taken part in discharging sick infants and children from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices, as part of controversial "death pathways."

Euthanasia not just for elderly, infirmed anymore

The paper said that, until now, it was believed that the end-of-life program administration by NHS known as Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) "was thought to involve only elderly and terminally ill adults."

However, the health professionals interviewed by the paper said that the practice of withholding food and fluids via feeding tube is also being applied to young patients and severely disabled newborns.

One physician even admitted starving and dehydrating to death 10 babies in the neonatal unit of just one hospital.

In a leading medical journal, the doctor revealed that the process takes an average of 10 days, during which time the infant becomes "smaller and shrunken."

The LCP, in which some 130,000 elderly and terminally ill adult patients die each year, is currently the subject of an independent inquiry that was ordered by Parliament.

The ministers want to know if money was the culprit - specifically, whether or not cash payments to hospitals for death pathway patients influenced doctors' decisions.

They wish for their child to die quickly

"Medical critics of the LCP insist it is impossible to say when a patient will die and as a result the LCP death becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They say it is a form of euthanasia, used to clear hospital beds and save the NHS money," the paper said.

Earlier this month, an unnamed physician wrote in the British Medical Journal about his angst at having to preside over the protracted death of children. The doctor wrote about one particular newborn with "a lengthy list of unexpected congenital anomalies" whose parents agreed to put on the pathway.

"They wish for their child to die quickly once the feeding and fluids are stopped. They wish for pneumonia. They wish for no suffering. They wish for no visible changes to their precious baby," the doctor wrote.

"Their wishes; however, are not consistent with my experience. Survival is often much longer than most physicians think; reflecting on my previous patients, the median time from withdrawal of hydration to death was 10 days," said the doctor.

"Parents and care teams are unprepared for the sometimes severe changes that they will witness in the child's physical appearance as severe dehydration ensues," the doctor wrote. "I know, as they cannot, the unique horror of witnessing a child become smaller and shrunken, as the only route out of a life that has become excruciating to the patient or to the parents who love their baby."

Obamacare emulates NHS?

Such is the way of managed, bureaucratic healthcare systems, where money matters more than humanity. According to the Los Angeles Times, Britain's NHS consumes a monstrous $170 billion of the country's budget.

But in Britain, the NHS has become untouchable. No British politician who hopes to serve longer than a single term dares to mention "reforming" it, and especially not into what Britons call an "American-style" system of insurance and competition (thought under Obamacare these tenets of our system are endangered).

So the system will continue to sacrifice the weak and handicapped - those who need compassionate care the most - because it's just cheaper to kill them.

For the record, Obamacare moves U.S. healthcare closer to an NHS-style system, not farther from it.





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