A woman has claimed an NHS hospital "starved" her elderly mother rather than continue her care.Ms Westwood had to fight the hospital to get her mother treated after the hospital staff made the decision to starve her to death:
Ellen Westwood, 88, was in Birmingham's Selly Oak Hospital for two months being treated for dementia and C.difficile, which she had previously contracted. Her daughter Kathleen Westwood said the hospital decided in February it was in her "best interests" to halt fluids and nutrition - a move the family opposed.
” Ms Westwood said she and her father were called into a room at Selly Oak Hospital on 8 February and told doctors had decided to withdraw all fluids, food and hydration.Happily, Mrs Westwood survived but the hospital is unrepentant:
They said they had begun giving Mrs Westwood morphine "because she is dying".
She said: "Because of this capacity ruling, if you deem somebody to have lost capacity, then the doctors can act in the best interests.
"Well in their view the best interests was for my mother to die - and clearly by Monday she would have been dead.
"We said we don't want this to happen and they said 'it's happening, sorry'.
"I had to fight very, very hard to get it stopped."
The hospital agreed to continue treating Mrs Westwood after the family gained a second opinion from another doctor.”
The University Hospital Birmingham (UHB) NHS Foundation Trust said it could not respond in detail as this would compromise patient confidentiality.Remember back in 1999, when a consultant said there was an unofficial policy of involuntary euthanasia, and then Health Secretary Alan Milburn decided such claims were ‘ludicrous’?
A spokeswoman said: "Mrs Westwood's relatives have raised a number of concerns.
"We have met with the family and are investigating these issues via our normal internal channels.
"UHB adheres to the national guidelines relating to the care of the elderly and we consider that we provide the best care possible to all our patients."
Looks like they sidestepped that one by making it part of the ‘national guidelines’…