Why did they let my wife suffer?

HEALTH has moved to reassure Islanders about a controversial end-of-life care programme after a family have claimed that their dying relative was not given food and water for two days.

Alan Booth with his late wife, Sue
Alan Booth with his late wife, Sue

HEALTH has moved to reassure Islanders about a controversial end-of-life care programme after a family have claimed that their dying relative was not given food and water for two days.

The department has said that the Liverpool Care Pathway regime, which allows doctors in some cases to withdraw food and water from dying patients, would not be used without the consent or knowledge of family members.

This follows concerns raised to the JEP by a man whose wife died five weeks ago in the General Hospital and comments left by numerous Islanders about the LCP on www.thisisjersey.com.

After reading the JEP’s article on the Pathway, which Health Minister Anne Pryke defended last week in the States, chartered surveyor Alan Booth became concerned that his wife, Sue (63), had been placed on the programme.

• See Friday's JEP for full report

Comments for: "Why did they let my wife suffer?"

Disillusioned

Having seen how this so called pathway is misused in the UK, it needs to cease here in Jersey. There is a lot of incompetence in the UK with lost and incorrect notes, passing on important information and general errors and I would trust no one to make such a dreadful decision because I suspect this could happen here. Let alone this risk, it is not up to doctors to decide to put someone on a path to death and particularly with a method that is more cruel than putting down an animal. How do they really know that their patient on this path is not suffering through it. I had a relative die this way and was in complete ignorance of what happened until now and trust me it is not a pleasant thing and very, very wrong.

Dr Reginald Le Sueur

As a retired General Practitioner I am confident that the Liverpool Care Pathway has been designed, and is implemented with the best possible intent to alleviate suffering in a dying patient. As has been pointed out, attempting to give food and drink to an unconscious patient, whether this is due to sedation or multiple organ failure, (because of imminent natural death), will only increase suffering and perhaps hasten death. Paying attention to oral hygience in such patients is a basic nursing procedure.

It is not a question of applying euthanasia (which is a separate and debatable issue),-but of allowing inevitable death to procede with ease and dignity; something we should surely all welcome.

Camberwick Green

As was said in the Profumo case, you would say that, wouldn't you?

Reg Le Sueur

I should have thought it was obvious to any compassionate person, medical or not.

Have you a better method for dealing with suffering?

Camberwick Green

Yes, don't use the pathway and don't enter into covert and possibly unlawful "protocols" without the informed consent of patient and relatives.

Ethan

Non story - the LCP was NOT even being used with this patient. Note to public - do not make judgements on healthcare based on The Daily Mail