Saturday 1 September 2018

"Slippery Slope? Don't Be Silly..."

The guidelines say consultants or GPs should be allowed to remove tubes giving food and water to those who cannot feed themselves – even if they could otherwise live for years.
The British Medical Association proposals mean patients who could otherwise have survived for years may have their lives ended by the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration tubes.
Gosh! Who could have predicted this? Apart from, or course, anyone who'd seen similar mission creep.
Last month, Supreme Court justices endorsed the right of doctors to remove 'clinically-assisted artificial nutrition and hydration' on their own authority with the agreement of a patient's family.
Note that. It'll become important later.
The draft proposals being circulated by the BMA say doctors should be able to end the lives not only of patients close to death or in deep comas – in vegetative or minimally conscious states – but of those suffering from much more common degenerative conditions, including advanced dementia.
"Hey, look, while we're here..."
Decisions on removing nutrition and hydration tubes should be taken by consultants for hospital patients, or GPs for those in nursing or residential homes or living in their own homes.
However, families or friends should be consulted, usually through 'best interests meetings' set up to decide whether it would be better for a patient to live or die.
 Note that 'consultation' there. It's not 'with the agreement of the patient's family', is it?
Dr Peter Saunders, of the group Care Not Killing, said: 'This is a recipe for euthanasia by stealth, but all in the name of autonomy and best interests – the very worst kind of doctor paternalism justified on the grounds that the patient would have wanted it.
'There are conceivably tens of thousands of patients in England and Wales who are vulnerable to the use and abuse of this guidance.
'It will be almost impossible to work out what has happened in a given case and there are no legal mechanisms in place for bringing abusers to justice.'
Well, quite! There seem to be no mechanism for bringing to justice the criminal doctors, after all....


Stonyground said...

I am in favour of euthanasia and feel that it wouldn't have to brought in by stealth if we could have a grown up discussion about it. I personally don't wish to spend my final days in unbearable pain. I don't see how difficult it is for all of us to leave clear instructions, for doctors and relatives, about what we would wish to happen should we find ourselves on some kind of life support.

Longrider said...

There is a point to be made here. If someone cannot survive without continuous medical intervention, is it reasonable to force them to live? What about quality of life? Would you do it to your cat? And why is it that we force people to suffer to the final breath when we would not do so to an animal? Life for the mere sake of drawing breath is not living.

As Stoneyground says - an adult conversation is what is needed. Unfortunately, we live in a society increasingly incapable of holding one.

ivan said...

Is this a justification of the 'Liverpool Care Pathway' and a way to exonerate those that used it without considering the families?

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that you all are not elderly. And know little about real old age. Most conditions can be controlled or ameliorated. Given the right GP.
The real trouble is that the young to middle age do all the talking
How do I know this = I was born 1935

Stonyground said...

Most conditions is not all conditions though is it? Also, you don't neccesarily have to be old to get a really bad one.

Anonymous said...

'Adult Conversation'. Good luck with that.

JuliaM said...

"I am in favour of euthanasia..."

I used to be. Until I saw the Dutch experiment go so very, very wrong.

"And why is it that we force people to suffer to the final breath when we would not do so to an animal?"

The lingering effects of religion?

"Is this a justification of the 'Liverpool Care Pathway'..."

Almost certainly.

"'Adult Conversation'. Good luck with that."

Sadly true.