Man Misdiagnosed With Cancer Dehydrated to
The UK’s Liverpool Care Pathway has apparently killed its first
(reported) victim. The Pathway treats dying patients as members
category instead of as individuals. Rather than give patients the
individualized treatment their respective symptoms and conditions
warrant, the Pathway sedates patients thought to be near death, and
withholds food and fluids until death. About 16.5% of deaths in
UK are now, apparently, via the Pathway, a far higher percentage than
hospice professionals tell me require sedation to control symptoms.
Yesterday, I reported on a case in which a woman misdiagnosed as dying,
was spared dehydration only due to the persistence of her daughter. I
asked at the time, how many other such cases there are? We now know of
at least one–only the ending wasn’t happy. A man misdiagnosed
recurrent cancer was apparently sedated and dehydrated to death. From
A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the
returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial
‘death pathway’. Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for
76-year-old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water
and medication except painkillers. He died within two weeks. But tests
after his death found that his cancer had not come back, and he was in
fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection. To his
family’s horror, they were told he could have recovered if he’d been
given the correct treatment.
Today, after being given an £18,000 pay-out
over her ordeal, his
widow Pat branded his treatment ‘barbaric’ and accused the doctors of
If the charges are true, at the very least this is negligent
homicide! What does the hospice have to say?
Mrs Jones believes her husband was treated under the
Pathway, but insiders said it was only implemented after he died to
help provide comfort to his wife and daughters.
What? A care plan was implemented after he died? That makes zero
sense. There needs to be an urgent criminal investigation to find
The bigger question is whether the Pathway will be curtailed so that
the lives of other patients are not endangered or cut off from being
lived to the last drop by being treated via checklist as members of a
category. I doubt it. In the UK–where the NHS is melting down and
utilitarian bioethicists have been handed tremendous control over the
ethics of care–I am beginning to suspect that the very sick, disabled,
and elderly are looked upon as burdens that society can no longer
Contact: Wesley J. Smith
Date: October 12, 2009
to this article.
this article to a friend.
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