DCSIMG

Review for end-of-life regime in Scotland

  • by ALASTAIR DALTON
 

SCOTTISH ministers are to consider the future of a controversial end-of-life regime north of the Border.

The move came after it emerged yesterday that a review of the regime in England was expected to recommend it should be phased out.

The Liverpool Care Pathway, which recommends that in some circumstances doctors withdraw treatment, food and water from sedated patients in their final days, is under intense scrutiny.

Reports have suggested doctors have been establishing “death lists” of patients to be put on the pathway, and that hospitals might be employing the method to cut costs and save bed spaces.

However, medics have argued the pathway has transformed end-of-life care, saying it can offer peaceful, pain-free deaths when used properly.

The Department of Health in England said an independent review chaired by crossbench peer Baroness Julia Neuberger was likely to recommend the programme be phased out over the next six to 12 months, and replaced with a new system.

The Scottish Government said the recommendations would be considered by its Living and Dying Well National Advisory Group “so any learning for Scotland can be taken forward”.

 

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