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Newsnight: Living with Death


Following the Newsnight special on end-of-life care, Norman Lamb has announced that there will be an independent chair to oversee the reviews of the Liverpool Care Pathway and how it is working.

Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman’s opening remarks about the LCP were that it is a system that offers rewards for hastening death and that despite compassionate intentions, the LCP is a sentence for death.

The programme heard from relatives who called the LCP a “licence to kill” and “medical euthanasia”. The relatives also claimed that they had not given their consent for their loved ones to be placed on the pathway.

Dr Kate Granger, who is a terminally ill cancer patient, spoke up for the LCP and reminded viewers that its purpose is for patients to achieve a good death.  Dr Granger confirmed that she would like to be placed on it at the end of her life. She also felt that everyone needed to talk more openly about death and dying.

Mr Lamb said that people had come forward with real concerns about the LCP and that it was “sensible to have a proper review to ensure everyone gets a dignified death”.

Did the programme give a balanced discussion on the LCP? Do you welcome the announcement that the pathway will be reviewed?

Add your comments and they could be published in the magazine.


What: Newsnight: Living with Death

When: BBC iplayer


Readers' comments (3)

  • Tiger Girl

    I support decent EoL palliation, but there are some dubious statements being made about the LCP by its supporters.

    If we put aside certain people who seem to be objecting to the LCP on religious grounds, the problems appear to largely arise when patients and relatives are excluded from the decision making - much of the furore is about consent, and whether or not consent was properly obtained.

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  • michael stone

    Tiger Girl | 30-Nov-2012 2:34 pm

    'much of the furore is about consent, and whether or not consent was properly obtained'

    Indeed, Tiger Girl, MOST is about consent (which can be described equivalently as decision making) - some seems to hinge on religious/secular perspectives as well.

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  • Why is it that in 2013 the best we can offer a dying person is to let them suffer and die of dehydration lasting several days?
    Surely we are able to offer a more humane end of life service to humanity.
    What is wrong with the French system of pain relief?
    Witnessing the deaths of two dear friends in a year has shown me that we inflict cruelty by default. Doing nothing is doing something....and it is often cruel. I would like to see electrodes on the heads of the dying to record the brain activity of the people who are supposedly having a good death.....
    Please, please can we have a debate about where we are going with palliative care....we will all be there soon and its not looking good.
    We can't all go to Switzerland.

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