Thursday, 25 February 2010

Support Elsie's Law


On November 21st 1999 Elsie Devine died at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital her life was shorten without justification or logic. Elsie was not a lone in meeting her fate at the hands of Dr Jane Barton there were many other elderly.

Elsie did not have a incline when she kissed her son good night that she was already on the terminal pathway and that the very next day she would be drugged unconscious and nor did her family. Elsie did not deserve her life to be terminated, let alone without her or her family’s knowledge. Elsie is one in many and this practicing must be stopped.

After 4 Police investigations, an Inquest and a GMC hearing it is clear that Elsie’s life was terminated at the will of one person; the Doctor who saw her as a bed blocker and worthless.We the undersigned petitioned the Prime Minister to create a law that states caring professionals alone do not have the legal right to start a patient on drugs that are included in the Liverpool Care Pathway, without the consent of either the patient or the next of kin.

Drugs used in the Liverpool Care Pathway have been under much speculation. Although an audit of Care of the Dying, by the Marie Curie and the Royal College of Physicians in 2009 found that nearly 4000 terminal patients found the framework to be of high quality, there is no doubt that some patients remain at risk.(Full Audit)) There is room in current practice for elderly, vulnerable patients to be started on the LCP without their or their family’s consent; it is not good enough to assume that in all hospitals, hospices and care homes that conversations will take place and that patients and families will be kept informed. The audit reveals that two thirds of the 3,893 patients whose deaths were assessed needed no continuous infusion of medication, and all by 4% only needed low doses of opiates.

However, there have been cases where patients have been started on high doses of opiates and sedatives via infusion and died prematurely.

We should not have to fight for justice after death; the law should be there to protect us when we are alive.

When the ‘system’ fails who will protect us when we are too vulnerable to protect ourselves. Read the full story here.


Urgent Support for Doctors

  • Sick Doctors Trust (For those with dependency problems) 0870 444 5163
  • Doctors for Doctors 08459 200 169
  • Doctors Support line 0870 765 0001
  • NHS-Direct 08456 46 47
  • BMA Counselling Service 08459200169
  • Samaritans 08457 90 90 90
  • National Bullying Helpline 0845 22 55 787