End of life regime may be phased out in hospitals

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AN independent review of a controversial end-of-life regime is likely to recommend that it is phased out, it has emerged.

The review of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), chaired by crossbench peer Baroness Julia Neuberger, has been hearing evidence from patients, families and health professionals. The LCP – which recommends that in some circumstances doctors withdraw treatment, food and water from sedated patients in their final days – has come under intense scrutiny.

Reports have suggested that doctors have been establishing ‘’death lists’’ of patients to be put on the pathway. Articles have also claimed hospitals might be employing the method to cut costs and save bed spaces. But medics have argued that the pathway has ‘’transformed’’ end-of-life care, saying it can offer peaceful, pain-free deaths when used properly.