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Pathway should lead to a pain-free death; Mailbag letters also appear online at www.examiner.co.uk/letters Mailbag.

IN THE debate on the Liverpool Care Pathway the issue of pain management has not been mentioned.

Personally, I have no objection to facilitating the dying process and allowing people to die in a dignified manner.

However, a fundamental element of any practice employed must be effective pain management.

In my experience this is where the Liverpool Care Pathway (and variants) fails.

In the past 12 months both my parents died on the variant Liverpool Care Pathway used by the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust.

For both parents medication and food/drink were withdrawn to support the dying process.

Obviously withholding basic physiological necessities in this way has medical implications. But assurances were given that both parents would be comfortable and pain free. However, this was not the case.

My mother was unable to communicate for days before her death and at times was obviously in a great deal of discomfort.

My father was able to communicate and only hours before his death said 'they say they can control pain but they bloody can't'.

The aim of the Liverpool Care Pathway is to achieve the best quality of care at the end of life, however, the healthcare professionals are failing in this respect whilst ever people die in pain like my parents.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jan 18, 2013
Words:216
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