Last year a Dutch doctor called Bert Keizer was summoned to the house of a man dying of lung cancer, in order to end his life. When Keizer and the nurse who was to assist him arrived, they found around 35 people gathered around the dying man’s bed. “They were drinking and guffawing and crying,” Keizer told me when I met him in Amsterdam recently. “It was boisterous. And I thought: ‘How am I going to cleave the waters?’ But the man knew exactly what to do. Suddenly he said, ‘OK, guys!’ and everyone understood. Everyone fell silent. The very small children were taken out of the room and I gave him his injection. I could have kissed him, because I wouldn’t have known how to break up the party.” Keizer is one of around 60 physicians on the books of the Levenseindekliniek, or End of Life Clinic, which matches doctors willing to perform euthanasia with patients seeking an end to their lives, and which was responsible for the … [Read more...] about Death on demand: has euthanasia gone too far?
Life expectancy end stage liver failure
Premature babies, or ‘preemies’ as they’re affectionately called in maternity units, face a tough fight but are well cared for by neonatal staff across the country. Though their parents run a gamut of emotions, writes Kelly O’BrienBaby’s first Christmas is a special time for families — but not all newborns get to spend the big day at home.All across the country, hundreds of prematurely birthed infants are celebrating the season from the confines of their incubators, tucked into the special neonatal wards of hospitals dedicated to keeping pre-term babies alive and kicking.While the parents would love nothing more than a Christmas at home with their new bundle of joy, they realise it’s where they need to be.This is certainly the case for mother of four Laura Devitt, who went into an early labour with baby Brídín 10 weeks ago. The Tipperary woman is currently visiting her daughter in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) — … [Read more...] about After the neonatal unit: ‘Something like this… it changes you forever’
A prisoner had his cancer 'ignored' despite losing six stone in six months and passing blood before dying in excruciating pain, an inquest heard. Adrian Watts, a 43-year-old father, complained to doctors at Horfield Prison in Bristol about severe abdominal pain and even urged them to check whether he had cancer. But instead of giving him an urgent scan, prison doctors dismissed it as gallstones. By the time he was taken to Southmead Hospital for a proper diagnosis, tumours had grown in his pancreas, colon, kidney, liver, and his adrenal glands. Hospital doctors gave him just a few weeks to live, but he died days after the diagnosis. And because of his treatment for drug addiction, he could not be given the proper pain medication throughout the months before, reports Bristol Live. Dr Rachel Royston, who was in charge of his care, told an inquest they did not know what was wrong with him less than a week before he passed away. “He was getting sicker, and sicker and sicker, and we … [Read more...] about Prisoner’s fatal cancer ‘dismissed as gallstones’ despite losing 6st
A Bristol dad who lost six stone and complained about severe abdominal pain for months before he died of cancer was not properly cared for. Adrian Watts was only 43 years old when he died in excruciating pain in Southmead Hospital, days after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. But he had warned doctors at Horfield Prison, where he was a serving prisoner, for months of stabbing pains in his stomach and blood in his bowels. On several occasions, he expressed concerns he might have cancer. But instead of giving him an urgent scan, prison doctors dismissed it as faeces and gallstones. By the time he got to Southmead Hospital for a proper diagnosis, the tumours had grown in his pancreas, colon, kidney, liver, and his adrenal glands. The hospital doctors gave him just a few weeks to live, but he died days after the diagnosis. And because of his treatment for drug addiction, he could not be given the proper pain medication throughout the months before. Dr Rachel Royston, who was in charge … [Read more...] about Bristol dad died after cancer ignored despite 6st weight loss
More than 50,000 people with dementia are ending up in hospital for emergency treatment every year as cuts to "threadbare" social care mean minor conditions are becoming life-threatening, a charity has warned. Avoidable emergency admissions have increased by 70 per cent in the past five years, according to a report by the The Alzheimer's Society. The increase coincides with a 40 per cent cut to local authority budgets since 2012, as part of the government's austerity measures. Read more Social care on its knees as MPs call on government to act Councils face 'decades more austerity' amid social care costs More than 2.3 million elderly people 'miss out on vital social care' Government scraps £72,500 cap on social care costs "Successive governments have shirked the issue of our threadbare social care system," said the charity's chief executive, Jeremy Hughes. "Starved of the care they need, people with dementia end up in A&E as a last resort, disrupting their home life and … [Read more...] about More than 50,000 dementia patients ‘avoidably’ admitted as emergencies due to cuts to social care, warns charity