Centralized control of health care is catastrophic. The classic example is the Liverpool Care Pathway, originally created to ensure that National Health Service (NHS) patients receive good pain control, under centralized control it often became a form of connect-the-dots medicine, even, back door involuntary euthanasia. (I write about the Pathway in detail in this just published Human Life Review article.)

The NHS encouraged the use of the Pathway with payments, which some critics saw as a encouraging abuses. Now, the Daily Mail reports, that is about to end. From the story:

Cash bribes to hospitals to put patients on to the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway will be ended, families have been told. The disclosure means that the NHS payments — which amount to at least £30million — are likely to be stopped later this year. A Health Department inquiry is underway into the Pathway, which was originally developed to ease the last days and hours of dying patients.

Care Minister Norman Lamb spoke to families of Pathway patients in Leeds in the first of a series of meetings designed to feed their views into the inquiry, which was launched in February and will report in the summer. One family at the meeting said that their 82-year old grandmother died over a period of 12 days after fluids and food were withdrawn. They said that their grandmother, who had early stage cervical cancer, was eating and drinking before being put on the Pathway.

“Bribes” is too strong a word, but “debacle” certainly isn’t. This is all a warning for us — not that the technocrats will give a fig.

Author Profile

Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC
Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC