Annals of Government Medicine, Death Panel Edition

The Telegraph headlines: “NHS shamed over callous treatment of elderly:”

A study of pensioners who suffered appalling treatment at the hands of doctors and nurses says that half were not given enough to eat or drink. One family member said the maltreatment amounted to “euthanasia”.
Some were left unwashed or in soiled clothes, while others were forgotten after being sent home or given the wrong medication.
In several cases considered by the Health Service Ombudsman, patients died without loved ones by their sides because of the “casual indifference” of staff and their “bewildering disregard” for people’s needs.
The damning report warns that extra money will not help the NHS meet required standards of care and that more problems are likely as the population ages.

Actually, “casual indifference” and “bewildering disregard” describe most government services. So why would we want to put government in charge of our families’ health care?
Cases described in the report included:

Š An 82 year-old died alone because staff did not realise her husband had been waiting to see her for three hours;
Š A woman was not washed during 13 weeks in hospital, did not have her wound dressings changed and was denied food and drink;
Š A woman was discharged from hospital covered in bruises, soaked in urine and wearing someone else’s clothes;
Š  The life-support system of a heart attack victim was switched off despite his wife asking to leave it on while she contacted the rest of the family.
The Ombudsman warned that the cases detailed in the report were not exceptional….

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