Baroness Neuberger to chair Liverpool Care Pathway review

Baroness Julia Neuberger, rabbi of the West London Synagogue, is to chair the review of the controversial palliative care method known as the Liverpool Care Pathway.

The Liverpool Care Pathway is a checklist for medical professionals who work in palliative care to assist patients to a humane and pain-free death, developed over 10 years ago by pain-care specialists in Liverpool.

What was devised as a method to reduce suffering has been termed “backdoor euthanasia” and has caused controversy amongst religious leaders because of claims that it often leads to an early death.

Eve Richardson, chief executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition said: “There is a real need to ensure everyone receives excellent care at the end of life and to take people’s fear away from dying and from the care they may receive in their final days, including through far more open communication about end of life issues.”

She continued: “This requires meaningful dialogue between bereaved people and health professionals to better understand people’s fears and concerns. That is why as part of the review we are pleased to be continuing our work into understanding the experience of patients and their loved ones of the Liverpool Care Pathway and look forward to working with Baroness Neuberger on this.”

Baroness Julia Neuberger was Chief Executive of the King’s Fund from 1997 to 2004. The King’s Fund works to improve health and healthcare in the UK.

Last updated: 1:45am, January 15 2013