The Liverpool Pathway

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What exactly is the “Liverpool Pathway”  and why is it under scrutiny from both the medical profession and the press ?.

I had not heard of the Liverpool Pathway until one of my clients referred to it as the Liverpool Line when his wife was placed on it.  

No one likes to talk about death, but the more it is discussed then perhaps we will feel less awkward about it!

Remember the days no-one used to talk about sex ?

What exactly is the “Liverpool Pathway”  and why is it under scrutiny from both the medical profession and the press.

The content below came from the Telegraph Online and relates to a Senior Neurologists concerns about the “treatment” following one patient being removed from it and living a further 14 months.

The intervention from Prof Patrick Pullicino comes amid mounting concerns over the approach, which can involve the withdrawal of drugs, fluids and food, and the administration of powerful pain relief to patients who are believed to be dying.

An independent review of the pathway, and of six-figure payments which have made to NHS hospitals for meeting targets to place people on it, is now under way after it was ordered by ministers.

Prof Pullicino, consultant neurologist at East Kent Hospitals University foundation trust, said the system was open to “terrific abuse” because doctors had no objective way of forecasting death, and often hastened it, by stopping treatment and sustenance.

I have to admit I was against the Liverpool Pathway initially but watched “Dispatches” on Channel 4 on 4/3/13 and have to admit it has totally changed my attitude. I have always felt that animals had a more dignified end with owners able to put pets down and relieve pain and suffering. I am not suggesting that doctors are putting patients down, but to prolong a painful and lingering death – can that be kind ?

I personally would welcome a shortened death and one without pain.

This is a controversial subject and I would love to know what YOU think.



Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference


  1. Hi Kay,

    Many thanks for taking the time to comment on my post.
    I am aware there are many, many people opposed to the LCP and I have not been in the position you have, where a close relation has been put on it.
    Perhaps my views are uninformed and perhaps a little naive.?

    However these were my thoughts following the documentary although I do understand your view point as having experienced it personally.

    Best wishes,


  2. Hi,
    I haven’t been able to watch this documentary (live abroad), however, I can speak from personal experience. If the LCP was used, as it claims, as a humane, understanding and compassionate tool for the DYING in their final hours/days, then maybe I could be pro-LCP. That is not the case in hospitals. It is ABused, it is a ‘selection process’. NOBODY will convince me that my mother was not SELECTED for ‘the pathway’. NOBODY will convince me that my mother did not suffer, even though she was in a coma, with high fever and the hospital REFUSED to treat that symptom with paracetamol. Enough said, the rest isn’t going to make it any better or worse. With all due respect I wish I had your peace of mind to be pro-LCP because that appears to be the future end for all of us.

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