In Great Britain 60,000 Patients Die Per Year Thanks To Government Cost Saving Measures


Earlier this week I wrote about a study which concluded that the government could make health care, and health insurance, cheaper for Americans by instituting price controls. I noted that this would give us something akin to the “death panels” Sarah Palin talked about, and was ridiculed for bringing up.

But what other term but “death panels” could possibly apply to Great Britain removing life-saving treatments from patients, and allowing them to die, without informing anyone that the treatments have been halted? All in an effort to save the government health care system money?

Up to 60,000 patients die on the Liverpool Care Pathway each year without giving their consent, shocking figures revealed yesterday.

A third of families are also kept in the dark when doctors withdraw lifesaving treatment from loved ones.

Despite the revelations, Jeremy Hunt last night claimed the pathway was a ‘fantastic step forward’. …

The pathway involves withdrawal of lifesaving treatment, with the sick sedated and usually denied nutrition and fluids. Death typically takes place within 29 hours.

The 60,000 figure comes from a joint study by the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool and the Royal College of Physicians.

It found many patients were not consulted despite being conscious when doctors decided on their care.

Records from 178 hospitals also show that thousands of people on the pathway are left to die in pain because nurses do not do enough to keep them comfortable while drugs are administered.

An estimated 130,000 patients are put on the pathway each year.

Concerns have been raised that clinical judgments are being skewed by incentives for hospitals to use the pathway.

Government incentives for hospitals that put patients on the fast-track? That sounds suspiciously like bribing hospitals to put the patient’s interests in the back seat.

But then, that’s what government health care systems do. When health care is a collective responsibility, instead of an individual responsibility, the interests of the collective trump the interests of the individual. It may sound great for taxpayers, and those paying high costs for health insurance/health care, to save money this way. Until, that is, you’re the one in the hospital bed.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • The Whistler

    I’ll bet that the big shots in the government see to it that their families don’t suffer.

  • WOOF

    Suffering includes being kept “alive”, for both patient and family. Do you believe corporate insurance is going to keep you hooked up to machines as long as a family member wants ?

    do you think a President of the US will fly to DC to sign a bill to keep your brain dead cousin hooked ?

    Do you think your living will is inviolate?

    • flamemeister

      Do you think?

      • WOOF

        I think, if you’ll sign the papers, I will stop them from putting a feeding tube in your stomach. I’ll make them take you off the respirator. You need an advocate.

        • flamemeister

          A very liberal answer. I spent a good part of 20 years involved in the sorts of things you are attempting to talk about. You know next to nothing about it. Try being something other than shallow and glib. Your time will come.

          • WOOF

            The extent of your rebuttal is underwhelming.

          • flamemeister

            The quality of your assertions can be taken care of with a Kleenex.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      You cherry pick a miniscule number of “brain dead” patients to cover the entire 60,000 geriatric patients who are left to die under the european equivalent of obamacare.
      Why do liberals hate humanity?

      • WOOF

        Visit a hospice, see how we die.

        • mickey_moussaoui

          I spent 5 years watching my parents in a nursing home. It is still more dignified than what you leftists propose. If YOU want to be cast asside and left to die then by all means, go for it. I choose to defend life to the natural end. But you have no right to decide for others.

          • WOOF

            Then you understand the value of Medicare and Medicaid, the government health programs that sustained your parents.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            I have never taken a position against either one. But at the rate obama is pissing away money you can bet that neither one will be solvent in 20 years. BTW, my parents paid 100% for their care out of their own pocket. But just the same I have never been against either program. I do think it is a shame that so many slacker democrat obama voters are now abusing disability because of how obama has killed the economy.

          • ellinas1

            A nursing home is not the same as a hospice.

    • $16179444

      actually yes…..speaking from experience. you?

  • mickey_moussaoui

    In the UK they ban guns so that they can murder their citizens quietly through geriatric genocide. It’s the progressive way.

    • flamemeister

      It used to be Eskimo practice to hang (without the drop) the “useless” elderly, but they would cut them down just short of actual dying so as to avoid, in their minds, actual murder. I believe that it was also a practice to abandon them on ice flows when handy. Among some Indian tribes, if an elderly person couldn’t carry his or her weight, and had no close relatives to care for them, they would simply be left behind to die when the tribe moved on. But at least they had collective survival issues to consider. We do it the progressive way.

  • $16179444

    yeah, but it’ll be different here ….. Obama said so. /sarcasm

  • Matt

    We have had death panels in the US for a very long time already – they are called insurance companies.

  • Emil Kashuntz

    Classic right wing bullshit. Go to NPR and listen to the study that says up to 200,000 die in the United States due to our defective health care system. Of course Rob would not repost that article. Just one more case of the classic right wing slant of this blog.

    • JustRuss

      As a percentage, 200,000 is much better in the US than 60,000 in Great Britain (notice it says GB not EU)

  • Snarkie

    HEADLINE – “Death rate falls to lowest ever in England and Wales”

    Sounds like they are doing pretty well to me.