British 'End of Life' Panels Are Bad News for Everyone
The Daily Mail received a lot of attention this week for an article entitled, "3,000 doctors putting patients on 'death lists' that single them out to be allowed to die."
Now, some of the feedbacks that the Mail received claimed that the End of Life Care Strategy (Fourth Annual Report) implied nothing of the sort.
But on page 8 of the report, we come to the following statement, "Find Your 1%, which aims to engage GPs in identifying the individuals on their lists who might be in their last year of life, so that they can undertake end of life care planning with them, has reached its midpoint target of 1,000 GPs signed up by August 2012."
This is fairly clear. General practitioners are being encouraged by the Government Department of Health to make lists of people who they believe are not going to live long. But that's not all. There are other unmistakable statements in the report that make it clear the mandate to provide end-of-life care is going to be aggressively implemented throughout the British state-run health care system.
Ministers have made a commitment to evaluate progress on end of life care to determine whether it is possible to introduce a right to choose to die at home. Over the next year the focus will continue to be on supporting people to be cared for and to die in their place of choice, providing community-based services to enable this to happen. Integration of services is key to this and will be a theme for the new Improvement Body, which will enable us to continue to work with our range of partners in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. At the same time the Transform programme will continue to support improvement in end of life care in hospitals.
The local Electronic Palliative Care Coordination System/ End of Life Care Locality Register is about to go live which will be vital for communication between the agencies involved in the care of these patients. The CCG has also developed a 'Gold card' scheme, which identifies these end of life care patients to health and social care professionals as well as helping patients access appropriate care.
Unlike many other socialized systems that are quasi-private in some elements, the British system is full-on government run. This makes what's going on especially worrisome. There is no government in the world, historically speaking, that has ever handled life and death situations fairly over time. Bureaucrats are incapable of dealing with such situations fairly.
More likely, the power to wield death is abused. The more opportunities government has to wield death, the more those involved will do so. This is simply an ineluctable prerogative of government.
Death programs are like any other government service, actually. They will be continually expanded and made more complex to ensure the expansion of the departments in question. Eventually, people could die simply to ensure that a department meets certain quotas.
All this is written indelibly unless this program is stopped now. But it won't be stopped. There is reason to believe, in fact, that it is gaining in momentum. It is meant to gain traction in tandem with the US program called Obamacare.
This is how the power elite works. They tend to advance certain activities not unilaterally but in harness with several great powers at once. Whether it is monetary regulation, education or other regulatory facilities, programmatic specifics are pushed forward together in an unstoppable rush.
The US has passed a health care plan that will support British policies, and no doubt we'll see exactly the same sort of regulation evolving throughout Europe and then in the developing world. China surely won't put up any resistance. The Daily Mail does us the favor of bluntly cataloguing the possibilities as follows:
Thousands of patients have already been placed on 'death registers' which single them out to be allowed to die in comfort rather than be given life-saving treatment in hospital, it emerged last night.
Nearly 3,000 doctors have promised to draw up a list of patients they believe are likely to die within a year, Department of Health figures showed yesterday ...
They have been asked to earmark elderly patients who show signs of frailty or deterioration during routine consultations at their surgeries.
Although more than 7,000 patients nationwide have already been put on the list, there appears to be no obligation for doctors to inform them.
Some medical professionals went public with their worries yesterday following the Daily Mail's disclosure of the NHS request to doctors to put one in every 100 of their patients on death lists.
Dr Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, warned about the risks of drawing up 'quotas' for the dying.
'We all know that doctors' estimates of patients' lifespans can be sometimes accurate but sometimes wildly inaccurate,' he said. 'A skilled doctor can in the great majority of cases assess when a patient is within a few hours or days of death. However, once we start to talk about weeks or months we know that we can often be right, but equally very badly wrong.'
The NHS is pushing for the death lists at a time when a keystone of its 'end of life strategy', the Liverpool Care Pathway, has come under fierce criticism from leading medical figures and families who believe their loved ones have been wrongly picked out in hospitals as dying.
None of this will end well. It will start with the aged and infirm and logically proceed to infants that will be diagnosed as having little or no chance at a "quality of life."
Finally, it will provoke outright eugenics. It was trending in that direction in Hitler's Germany and the same entities that helped fund that unsavory period of the 20th century are no doubt behind this, as well, one way or another.
The path being chosen is the one that turned the 20th century into one of the world's bloodiest with some 150 million murdered by government policies, wars and incarceration.
Ultimately there is nothing caring about these "end of life" policies. And they warn us of much worse to come.
Posted by Don from the Republic of Lakotah on 10/20/12 09:38 AM
"The only solution to Social Security and Medicare is for us geezers to die early like the government actuaries want us to." - Jim Sinclair.
Posted by Bluebird on 10/20/12 11:12 AM
You are right, Mr. wile, unfortunately. Obamacare will produce the same thing, even if it is changed to Romneycare. The only reason to change a "patient" to a "unit" is to dehumanize them in order for it to be easier for the doctors to shut them down. This will be world wide unless those calling for such inhuman care are dethroned. Here's a somewhat "been around" report form a brain surgeon on his "orders" for Obamacare.
http:/Click to view link
But of course, they just say we are using scare tactics and push right on to a waiting bunch of units.
Posted by Bluebird on 10/20/12 11:20 AM
I will try again on that link:
Click to view link
In case it does not work, just search the right scoop-brain surgeon and I hope you can find it.
Posted by flavonoid on 10/20/12 12:18 PM
This is an inevitable development. Dying the medicalised, 21st century way is long drawn out and very expensive, and the pathway is a lot cheaper. If you consider a) the demographics, b) the impact of uncontrolled UK immigration and c)our current hospital finances (a significant number of UK trusts are financially uderwater), it is easy to see why this new version of the doctor's dilemma has come centre stage. The tragic aspect is that it is completely unnecessary; the tools to achieve morbidity compression are proven, but are being blocked by an obstructionist EU bureaucracy which is deeply influenced by pharmaceutical mis-thinking.
Posted by mava on 10/20/12 12:48 PM
Both, the British and the Americans are going to make the run for this. The reason is that they happen to believe that the current balance of youth vs. elders is unfavorable to the kind of society that will be able to remain the aggressive dominator of the world.
So, the solution is simple. Like the medieval Japan, they are going to simply extinguish all the unimportant elders. You can be sure that Obama's or Romney's elders, if any, is going to remain alive and well, and that is what I meant by saying "unimportant".
It definitely is going to be done for the economic reasons to, but here is the kick. If, it was done for the economic reasons, then it would be stupid, and the effect of this will not be nearly big enough as to stop the catastrophe. So, then it is only a layer of the onion of lies.
I would like to say that the results will be disastrous. The consequences will be nothing like is being planned for. The west will find that they had just destroyed the only thing still keeping them afloat.
Posted by ras on 10/20/12 12:48 PM
Your fears of some of the short comings of socialized health care are valid,
But Palliative care has been very poorly done in many countries and causes
unneeded stress for all concerned. We have been directly involved in the passing of several family members and the help we received more recently
made the situation somewhat less stressful. We are talking about experenced folks coaching people with little to no experence with death as to what to expect and tips on dealing with the whole experence in a better setting.
The U.K. is a leader in palliative care done correctly and we in Canada are still catching up.
This has nothing to do with euthanasia or speeding up the natural process that we will all face. This is about families and the dying person having the best setting and care in the most appropriate way with help from caring people.
Any good idea can become tainted but to assume it will is paranoid.
The key is for the individuals involved to have the choices.
Posted by rkdennis on 10/20/12 01:12 PM
The thought of a "death list" is worrisome. However, we already have a "death list' in the USA. The people on that list are the people without health care insurance. It is estimated that up to 45,000 Americans die annually due to the lack of medical care. Very often lacking basic health care and not just the elderly.
Most American are not aware of this fact, and they don't care because they have health insurance. I read that 50% of all health care dollars are consumed by 5% of the population, and most of those are elderly.
If we are going to talk about 'death panels', the 45,000 who are on that list must be thrown into the discussion.
Posted by Darby Jie on 10/20/12 01:47 PM
This is not the 'Sheeple' forum. Try the next door down the road.
Posted by tjdetmers on 10/20/12 03:11 PM
Abortion advocates use many of the same lies. In the west, our physical lives have been quantified by money, whether money made from our health or from our sickness. We need to wake up and take ownership of our own lives. Life is a gift from God... .not the government. We need to get back to living that way. The responsibility of life lies with each of us... . "the people".
Posted by MetaCynic on 10/20/12 04:09 PM
Death panels are an inevitable part of the general social drift toward looking to others, especially to the government, to take care of us. This is what happens when people turn away from self responsibility and put their lives and well being in the hands of others. These empowered others will ration scarce resources by setting the terms for access to "free" services.
Decades of government central planning and regulation have massively deformed, in ways that we can scarcely imagine, not only capital flows but the everyday quality of our lives - and not for the better. Taxes, credit creation and inflation have left us poorer. Government schools have left us not only ignorant but unable to think. The government food pyramid and Big Agra's subsidized grains and sugars have ruined our health. Big Pharma's drugs keep us sick. The mass media keep us entertained and distracted from our deteriorating situation. Too many people have been conditioned to then turn to the government to pay for approved but ineffective protocols to treat bodies misshapened and sickened by all those eagerly welcomed nanny state interventions.
The growing state power over our lives will not stop with Death Lists compiled by dispassionate medical "experts." Those Death Lists like the government's No Fly List will grow according to secret parameters animated by political considerations. As in every police state, the West's governments will morph into not only a "he who does not obey shall not eat" regimes but into a "he who does not obey shall be denied medical care" ones as well. Single providers of anything will not hesitate to use their monopolies to maintain control over our lives by any way they can.
Posted by Hope on 10/20/12 04:10 PM
Two of my relatives have died recently. I can tell you that this "list" already exists in the form of "hospice care". When someone has been designated as a candidate for hospice care, they are pretty much doomed. By this, I mean, they are written off and the care provided by hospice is nothing more than offering to guide the person into a "peaceful" death, by drugging them! My sister, who died of lung cancer, was offered the option of going on hospice care, two years before she died. She rejected this option, because she knew it was her death sentence. Only then, did her doctor decide to try a new cancer drug. She responded well and lived two more years. So, I don't doubt that Obamacare has factored in how to kill people as soon as possible, who appear to not have a very good chance of surviving their illness. This is shocking! People need to wake up and face the reality that this death list has been in place for a long time and will only get longer, if we refuse to do something about it.
Posted by nithsdale on 10/20/12 04:29 PM
This is a fact of life problem.
At 88,I would welcome the opportunity to choose my death. After two years of watching family members cope with comatose elderly loved ones, it is necssary to institute an end to such indignity.
The cost of care for those with us but not conscious is extraordinary, almost 8500 a month. this is a burden on families and later on government, in both cases people are stripped to allow life where there is no life!
Contrary to religious fanatics, we are all born to die and it has nothing to do with any God's or Creator's grace. We are living for a short span of time and it is up to each and every one of us to use that space to make our imprint and then leave with "grace".
I am sick and tired of how most of the seniors I live among who treat medicals as their last form of sociability, running to the doctor and the hospital to relieve their boredom or re-inforce some ridiculous idea they can be young again if they have this or that procedure or "magic bullet"!
Those of tou who are young had best get up in arms re this charade. You have the most to lose as the army of retirees grows ever lkarger in the next two decades.
Past communities had it right. When you no longer could contribute to maintaining your life, it was time to go out to pasture and quietly leave the world.
We must accept fate and indeed, welcome it. The Netherlands has codified it and I think the civilized world must once again accept the fact there is a time to live and a time to die!
Regards, Alice Maxwell
Regards, Alice Maxwell
Posted by EdwardUlyssesCate on 10/20/12 05:50 PM
Very well said, "nithsdale" below.
It does seem that we've manipulated by financial sociopaths to transfer all of our wealth to the medical community, instead of gently leaving the scene and leaving what we can for family members or favorite charity. (I'm just 65.)
Posted by Bluebird on 10/20/12 06:19 PM
It should be up to the individual and their family to decide such matters. That is the point. When you start letting government decide who should continue to live or die, it makes it too easy to expand the "useless" catagory and genecide is the end result. Does history not prove this?
We already have end of life directives that YOU choose before you get too bad off. "Do not resusitate" orders can already be set up with your doctor and placed by your bedside. You can also have orders to not be put on life support in writing. And giving a family member medical power of attorney to decide such matters has long been an option. But giving these decision over to the government should NOT be an option. It is inviting disaster!
Reply from The Daily Bell
"When you start letting government decide who should continue to live or die, it makes it too easy to expand the "useless" catagory and genecide is the end result. Does history not prove this?"
This is the point ...
Posted by doctrphil on 10/20/12 08:52 PM
The author (and many commentors) seem to be drawing the conclusion that planning for the eventual demise of someone is actually withdrawing care. This is not the case. In the US, we've heard the hyperbole from Sarah Palin and her 'death panels', and Michelle Bachmann, with her cries of "Grandma's not 'shovel-ready'!"
This is a false paradigm that attempts to conflate end-of-life care with killing off the elderly. It is about planning for an eventuality, about how you or your loved ones will be taken care of in their final days. It is about making a pre-meditated choice, or an 'Advanced Care Directive'. One could always insist that they be kept alive, no matter how badly your bodily systems are failing. They have machines for that - very exspensive machines. Or, you could just decide that after a long and somewhat fruitful life, that you're happy to slip off into the unknown. That should be your decision and IT IS. If you don't currently have and advanced care directive or living will, make one. You may find yourself the victim of who knows what, lying in the hospital with your family fretting about what they should do if the doctors agree that there's nothing more to be done.
The biggest issue that I see here is that people are afraid of dying. I don't necessarily want to die, but at the same time, if I'm in such a state (brain-dead, massive organ failure, etc.) that 'I' am no longer 'me', then end it. And it's not really about me dying, it's about people who can't let go. People die. We will all die. Get used to the idea, because it's one fact of life that will never change. Everyone you know will eventually die. Take the stress out of the event by getting the formalities taken care of up front, so you can devote 'together time' with the one who's leaving. Take responsibility, or have it taken for you.
Posted by Wrusssr on 10/21/12 12:32 AM
Not to worry! Going forward, Soylent Green, Inc. will be there for us.
Click to view link
Don't get it? Try the book or watch the movie. Way ahead of its time.
Posted by operam veritatis on 10/21/12 05:11 AM
The elderly involved in end of life care are not going to be listened to. Nor will the preferences of their immediate families receive a meaningful audience, should the patient be in a classificiation which due to age fits the schema to "let them die and administer comfort care only."
The politicians and the think tanks who answer to the same masters will only speak in glittering generalities. There will be death panels, only the state will not designate them as such. The old farts who have paid into the system through force of law will be the first class of expendibles once they are of a certain age (and not related to a power family).
Others wlll suffer different indignities. Lower cost generic medicines will be the only ones approved on many occasions; despite the fact that not everyone responds as well to generics as branded drugs.
Over time, I can see the possiblity of some individuals losing their potential maximum benefits due to being obese/and or due to a review of their restaurant purchase records. A fat guy repetitively ordering fetuucinne alfredo will not please those tasked with cost saving the system. All it will take is some prominent politician on the mainstream airwaves mentioning how some peoples' neighbors are imposing extraordinary costs on an otherwise good system. Fatty Alfredo will be villified and labeled as unpatriotic at best, and possibly as a terrorist.
Statists can call me paranoid and I will wear it as a badge of honor; for in the final analysis, I (and those who think along similar lines regarding government bureaucracies) will be proven correct.
You folks who expect coverage of pre-existing conditions of the young not to greatly distort the cost models going forward are going to have a rude awakening. One that might actually help re-define your concept of "fairness."
Once upon a time, American health care was a model for the rest of the world.
Gee, what could have happened?
Posted by ratnadaka on 10/21/12 05:31 AM
What a poor article. This initiative is about improving choices in the palliative care of people whom treatment can no longer help.
Framing palliative care as "the power to wield death" is paranoia. Anthony, quite frankly you appear to know very little about the subject you are writing about, though I appreciate you may mean well.
A good starting place on some of the issues would be Sherland B Nuland's excellent book "How We Die"
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
This - below - is the reality of the health care system that you claim is in a discussion about "improving choices in the palliative care of people whom treatment can no longer help."
Does such a system really sound capable of considered, ethical improvement? ...
Click to view link
UK health care horror: 1,200 die needlessly in filthy, blood-splattered hospital
POSTED AT 8:49 PM ON FEBRUARY 26, 2010 BY CASSY FIANO
[ HEALTHCARE ]
Imagine if we put the DMV in charge of your health care. Just imagine what the quality of your health care would be like. Our system isn’t perfect, but it’s the best health care system in the world at present. That won’t stop Democrats, though, as they try to re-engineer American health care.
If you’re trying to get an idea of what our new health care system will be like, it’s easy. Just look to the formerly great Britain, where socialism reigns supreme. An NHS hospital let 1,200 patients die for no reason in the filthy, blood-splattered hospital where patients were routinely neglected and left in disgusting conditions. The best part? Not a single official has been fired.
Not a single official has been disciplined over the worst-ever NHS hospital scandal, it emerged last night.
Up to 1,200 people lost their lives needlessly because Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust put government targets and cost-cutting ahead of patient care.
But none of the doctors, nurses and managers who failed them has suffered any formal sanction.
Indeed, some have either retired on lucrative pensions or have swiftly found new jobs.
Former chief executive Martin Yeates, who has since left with a £1million pension pot, six months’ salary and a reported £400,000 payoff, did not even give evidence to the inquiry which detailed the scale of the scandal yesterday.
… The independent inquiry headed by Robert Francis QC found the safety of sick and dying patients was ‘routinely neglected’. Others were subjected to ‘ inhumane treatment’, ‘bullying’, ‘abuse’ and ‘rudeness’.
… Bosses at the Trust – officially an ‘elite’ NHS institution – were condemned for their fixation with cutting waiting times to hit Labour targets and leaving neglected patients to die.
But after a probe that was controversially held in secret, not a single individual has been publicly blamed.
The inquiry found that:
• Patients were left unwashed in their own filth for up to a month as nurses ignored their requests to use the toilet or change their sheets;
• Four members of one family. including a new-born baby girl. died within 18 months after of blunders at the hospital;
• Medics discharged patients hastily out of fear they risked being sacked for delaying;
• Wards were left filthy with blood, discarded needles and used dressings while bullying managers made whistleblowers too frightened to come forward.
… The Francis report said staff numbers were allowed to fall ‘dangerously low’, causing nurses to neglect the most basic care. It said: ‘Requests for assistance to use a bedpan or to get to and from the toilet were not responded to.
‘Some families were left to take soiled sheets home to wash or to change beds when this should have been undertaken by the hospital and its staff.’ Food and drink were left out of reach, forcing patients to drink water from flower vases.
While many staff did their best, Mr Francis said, others showed a disturbing lack of compassion to patients.
Posted by rkdennis on 10/21/12 09:59 AM
Lame, Darby, lame, advocating a closed forum, limited to those who you perceive to share your opinions. Talk about the essence of sheeplism. Hypocrite much?
Posted by alexsemen on 10/21/12 11:14 AM
Anthony, dear Sir , you are 1000% what you say and what you care.
I am a doctor and I am a very sinfull person as doctor :
I;ve saved almost 200 old and "terminaly"very ill people ,sent home to die in few days and weeks. Not months.
I save people because I was doctor( the good one if mind) and my duty was a pleasure to contradict plentfully all big academic institutions and their allegation based only on false permises and institutionalized ignorance.
Thank you Anthony at least one person who care about the meaning of life of at least one person.
The rest is "Green Soylent " ... !!!!
best regards my young fellow