130,000 Patients Euthanized a Year

A British doctor is speaking out about a program of very extensive euthanasia of elderly patients in the UK. Under the British Health Service, a program called the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is being used to murder elderly patients.

Originally, LCP was aimed at giving palliative care (reducing suffering). The program was designed by the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute. They say that LCP should neither hasten nor postpone death. A diagnosis that death is imminent should be made by a multidisciplinary team, and this diagnosis should be continually reassessed. In particular:

The LCP does not recommend the use of continuous deep sedation
The LCP does not preclude the use of clinically assisted nutrition or hydration or antibiotics
[Marie Curie PCI]

But once the LCP was adopted by the British Health Service (BHS), it was quickly transformed into a type of euthanasia. Patents were placed on the BHS altered version of LCP, even when death was not expected for many months. Even patients who were not terminally ill, and who might have recovered, were (allegedly) placed on this program. Even though LCP rejects the ideas of (1) continuous deep sedation and (2) denial of nutrition and hydration, the BHS version of LCP uses both as a matter of course, for every patient placed on BHS-LCP.

These patients all die within a few days, even when their illness was not expected to kill them for months. The patients are denied nutrition and hydration, and are kept under continual heavy sedation until they die. This BHS perversion of LCP is nothing other than murder. Here’s why:

1. under heavy sedation, the patient cannot eat or drink on his own
2. the hospital denies the patient hydration and clinically assisted nutrition

All persons, no matter how healthy, cannot survive this combination. Without food and water, no one would survive. Although starving to death from a lack of food can take several weeks, dying of thirst takes only several days — less for persons who are weakened by old age or illness. In addition, the sedation is so heavy that the patient may die from excessive sedation (which depresses breathing), before they die of thirst. No one can possible survive this treatment; the treatment itself causes death. The patient does not die from his or her illness, but from the treatment itself. And that is what makes this treatment, the BHS version of LCP, a type of murder.

Under Roman Catholic teaching, euthanasia is murder with the intention (purpose) of eliminating all suffering. However, if the murder is committed for some other purpose, such as saving the State money or freeing hospital beds, then it is not euthanasia, but simple murder. All types of murder, including euthanasia and abortion, are intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral. There is no purpose or intention or circumstance that can justify the deliberate choice to kill the innocent. The good purpose of eliminating suffering does not justify the choice of any act inherently ordered toward killing the innocent human person.

The systematic killing of elderly patients by the BHS, under the guise of dispensing a type of palliative care called LCP, is not the grave sin of euthanasia, because it is not done to eliminate suffering, but to save money. Rather, it is systematic murder. The patients placed on the BHS version of LCP cannot possibly survive: they are continuously heavily sedated, and denied hydration and nutrition. The deliberate choice by physicians and administrators to place patients under continuous deep sedation without hydration has no possible other outcome except death within a few days. Therefore, the act is nothing other than murder. It is a type of act, deliberately and knowingly chosen, which is inherently ordered toward the death of an innocent human person as its proximate end (its moral object).

News articles on this topic:

The New American
The Daily Mail
The Daily Express

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic moral theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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