There are a variety of techniques I have seen employed over the last decade. Broadly speaking, if you are over 80, particularly if you are no longer on your feet, you should be considering private treatment for most ailments if you wish to remain alive.
I imagine that this cut-off will get smaller as time goes on. It is as much for the benefit of the economy as it is for reducing costs of sustaining the lives of people that a consultant has written off and obtained the agreement of some colleagues, who may or may not have met you, to proceed with a process on the assumption that your ‘best interests’ are served by being dead.
Having had reason to read the legislation that the Social Work Department work from when dealing with adults with incapacity recently, even this has paragraphs which all end the same way ‘the problem ceases when the patient is dead.’ Hence we have systems in place which assume that the best interests of the patient are, in fact, for them to no longer exist.
Whilst the actions of so-called-professionals have given me many reasons for anger of late, it is not surprising then that they operate on several assumptions:
- That any carer needs some form of reeducation as they are sublimating their lives for someone else.
- That any elderly person getting few visitors is of no value
- That any difficult patient is draining resources and of less value.
- That ongoing health issues as you get older are again draining resources and making the patient actually cost money.
One of my elderly neighbours was actually told to his face that he was deserving of treatment because he was a high-rate taxpayer. I was told by three separate doctors what was going to happen to my mother long before it actually happened.
When they decided to finish my father, it was the Liverpool technique. He was drugged within two days of being in a unit devoted to sparing other hospitals from high death rates on the grounds of his being ‘difficult.’ He was still able to speak and was a relatively happy, plump and mischievous man when he was drugged. Within four months he was starved, unable to speak and agitated when awake.
When they decided to finish my uncle, he was on his feet and independent. He recovered well from a UTI, only to be placed in a draughty ward and given further antibiotics until he contracted pneumonia a week later.
When it came to my mother, they actually came right out and told me. Seven months before, she had been sent home, painfully thin with terribly fragile skin on the assumption she was going to die. I knew this because of the daily visits of the district nurses, who were supposed to be there to give her an injection to clear any fragmented clots. So keen were they to also give her painkillers, that a fight broke out when I changed her diet to a highly technical version of a raw food diet and not only solved the continuing weight loss problem but improved her skin and eradicated the infections she had had for the previous ten years on a normal diet. My friend, a former medical professional, was astonished by her recovery. So was her GP, who noted the astonishing improvements in her blood work, since the nurses were so keen to attempt to prove a case against me, that they invented stories about weight loss as she gained, clutter which was caused by visiting carers not knowing the house, and by accusing me of neglect if I left the room within the five minutes that they were there to see my mother. It was a constant fight for seven months. The social work department were brought in to tell me that I resented my mother, that my saving her life was, in fact, me somehow abusing her and that anything I did was wrong.
Finally, when she went into hospital after a GI bleed (she had also had one on her previous visit to hospital, so personally I would have regarded this as routine and simply given her a transfusion) I was asked whether I wanted her to have medical treatment, to which I said yes, of course. The next doctor I saw said that in future she would be ‘eased out.’ The third consultant stated that she did not believe in the science of my mother’s diet, and when I referred her to the blood test results I had established, simply did not bother to look because she was wrong.
I have had many reasons over the years to be highly suspicious of people who assume that their education is the end of them having to learn anything. Crap doctors, crap accountants, crap former bank managers. People who take their salary, pay their bills and carry on administering a conveyor belt.
You may choose to live in blissful ignorance. It will not help you when it happens to your family.
Maybe, like my local shopkeeper and my neighbour, you actually want your loved ones dead. I did not, and on the assumption that there are still some other compassionate and intelligent people left in the world, I suggest that you get out and learn what they are failing to teach so-called professionals. There is no need for too many antibiotics. As I said to a consultant pathologist I was working alongside several years ago.
We don’t need more doctors. We need better health.
Where is the funding for that? Why aren’t the public told the truth? If we fed animals the way we feed ourselves, the animals would be taken from us. How come a £150000 a year consultant cannot manage to find it out by themselves, and I can? I am very sorry that I did not know what I know now in time for it to have spared my father his miserable death.
I have heard a frightening number of people who think these issues will never affect them. They will, and sooner than you think. In memory of my parents, I think it is time to do something about it.