Yesterday, on Tuesday 9th July, my dear mother-in-law died in Dewsbury Hospital.
After being severely affected by one stroke some days earlier, a week last Saturday she suffered a second one. This one did such immense damage that recovery was impossible.
With great sadness, she was placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway. Care is quite an odd description for a process where essentially a person is deprived of food and water, being allowed to slowly die while just being given drugs to ease the pain.
One cannot watch a loved one slowly die in such a fashion and consider it anything other than cruel. Watching them just waste and fade away, not knowing if they can see or hear you. You are torn between wanting them to hang on, and the guilt of wanting them just to let go and stop the suffering. Once she had finally gone, it good to know she looked in peace and at rest. No more suffering.
Hilda hung on for seven days.
I cannot escape the idea that once someone is deemed so ill to be put on the LCP, then surely for humanities sake leaving them for days to die is much worse than allowing a form of euthanasia. This should be severely limited, but someone on the LCP is going to die. In reality, the LCP is a form of euthanasia.
Hilda Margaret Elizabeth Sanderson was a wonderful lady who deserved more dignity at the end of her life, more dignity than the LCP offers.
Update 11th July 2013
Today, as per Hilda’s final wishes, her three cats were put to sleep. They died quickly, painlessly and with much more dignity than Hilda herself.