Death panels

More euthanasia at the British NHS, the model for nationalized health care that Democrats would like to see established in the United States:

Tens of thousands of patients with terminal illnesses are being placed on a “death pathway”, almost double the number just two years ago, a study published today shows.

Health service guidance states that doctors should discuss with relations whether or not their loved one is placed on the scheme which allows medical staff to withdraw fluid and drugs in a patient’s final days. In many cases this is not happening, an audit has found. As many as 2,500 families were not told that their loved ones had been put on the so-called Liverpool Care Pathway, the study disclosed. In one hospital trust, doctors had conversations with fewer than half of families about the care of their loved one.

And just to be clear, these aren’t necessarily patients who will pass away without a little push:

In addition to the withdrawal of fluid and medication, patients can be placed on sedation until they pass away. This can mean they are not fed and provided with water and has led to accusations that it hastens death. . .

Concerns about the pathway were raised first in The Daily Telegraph in 2009 when experts warned that in some cases patients have been put on the pathway only to recover when their families intervened, leading to questions over how people are judged to be in their “last hours and days”.

The title is irresistible, but it’s actually overly glib to call these death panels. With an actual “death panel”, there would be a panel that would issue a ruling openly. One could protest and possibly appeal. Here there’s no panel; just medical bureaucrats who decide in secret that some patients should be put to death.

And this is not an isolated incident. Two months ago the NHS was caught issuing do-not-resuscitate orders without permission. Worse than that, the government had uncovered the practice first, and hushed it up.

This is our future, if the Democrats have their way.

(Via Power Line.)

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