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He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway, a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country.The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is designed to come into force when doctors believe it is impossible for a patient to recover and death is imminent.”• Allan 2013, “Elderly patients are being ‘deprived of food and drink so they die quicker and free up bed space’, claim doctors”• Australian Publishing Resource Service 2010, “Hospital elderly: malnourished and underfed”• Raschella 2012, “Hospital probes claims elderly woman neglected”• au 2012, “Hunger and thirst blamed for 2000 patient deaths in Queensland public hospitals in 2011-12”• 2013, “Health care fraud and abuse”• Mackay 2013, “Without Due Care: An Australian Hospital Tragedy”• ABC LATELINE 2012, “Public hospitals in Crisis”com.au/wp.../06/Aged-Persons-Their-Rights-June-2013Reviews & Quotes: Dr Karen Hitchcock's Quarterly Essay On Ageism "Dear life" March 2015Hitchcock writes from experience: she is a staff doctor in acute and general medicine at a large Melbourne public hospital.3.
You should tell that to ageist medical practitioners withholding potentially lif-saving treatments from the elderly!
Refrain from denying treatment to your patient because of a judgement based on discrimination(AMA Code of Ethics 2006, 1.1.10)A quick perusal of similar experiences and reports on the internet indicates that the culture of disrespect towards elderly people in health services is pervasive not only in Australia but also globally.
We don’t want to pay for their healthcare“The elderly have been, and remain, the last priority in our medical system and the ones we target first with our austerity measures.” For the sake of comparison: there is a stronger negative narrative around the cost of elderly care, compared to our willingness to pay for the treatment of increasingly poor, obese, diabetic, sedentary young and middle-ages who will require many drugs, doctors, operations and hospitalisations.“Ours is a society in which ageism, often disguised, threatens to turn the elderly into a ‘burden’ – difficult, expensive and homogeneous.”We need to shift our focus away from limiting care, to improving care for elderly Australians.
In the March 2015 issue of the Quarterly Essay, Karen Hitchcock delves into the Australian healthcare system, making explicit something that, as she says, often remains unsaid and yet can be heard quite clearly: “That the elderly are burdensome, bankrupting, non-productive.
Experts including Peter Millard, emeritus professor of geriatrics at the University of London, and Dr Peter Hargreaves, palliative care consultant at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, Surrey, warned of ‘backdoor euthanasia’ and the risk that economic factors were being brought into the treatment of vulnerable patients EXAMPLE: Professor Pullicino revealed he had personally intervened to take a patient off the LCP who went on to be successfully treated.
In the example he revealed a 71-year-old who was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia and epilepsy was put on the LCP by a covering doctor on a weekend shift.
A READER LETTER: The sanctioned killing of the aged and ill is all that could follow in the shadow of the legalization of abortion.
Instead of empowering ourselves by strengthening the worth of all life we have lowered ourselves to the level of every killer. Anyone that is perceived to be taking ' valuable space ' or ' breathing the air ' of someone more worthy, or ' costing me money ' can be deemed worthless and therefore killable. RATIONING TREATMENT FOR THE ELDERLY VERY LIKELY WIDESPREAD IN AYSTRALIA TOO!
Professor Pullicino said he had returned to work after a weekend to find the patient unresponsive and his family upset because they had not agreed to place him on the LCP.‘I removed the patient from the LCP despite significant resistance,’ he said.‘His seizures came under control and four weeks later he was discharged home to his family,’ he said.
In the example of the 71-year-old, Professor Pullicino revealed he had given the patient another 14 months of life by demanding the man be removed from the LCP.