Top doctor’s claim – 130,000 elderly patients killed ‘prematurely’ every year; elderly woman starved to death in hospital

Readers of Seniors at Risk sent us two stories yesterday that will shock people who are not already aware that thousands of our elders’ fundamental human rights are being violated, and their lives put in danger, while supposedly in the ‘care’ of a modern and civilized health system.

In the first story below, one of Britain’s top doctors exposes the widespread practice in health care facilities of prematurely ending elderly people’s lives with morphine injection and withholding of food and water. The practice is based on a scheme known as the Liverpool Care Pathway, named for the U.K. city in which it was perfected.

Its unregulated, under-the-radar use extends far beyond the U.K. Evidence indicates its adoption (and abuse) here in B.C. Families are often told their loved one “died peacefully”, when in fact they died in the painful distress of dehydration, starvation and narcotic poisoning. By eye-witness accounts, this is an excruciating way to die.

The other story, equally horrifying, is from Canada. An elderly Winnipeg woman starved to death after not being given any food for 14 days during her 45-day stay in hospital. The hospital board said it was “sorry”.

Seniors at Risk is continually being made aware of these and similar cases of institutional elder abuse, almost daily. It is an epidemic, and a disgraceful atrocity.

When our existing laws, lax as they are, are not enforced, when no one is held personally accountable, when health organizations are not open and honest about their practices, and when there are no consequences for such reprehensible acts, then these crimes become inevitable and increasingly frequent.

Knowledge. Compassion. Courage. Action.

Take a stand against institutional elder abuse.  Start by reading these two stories:

Top doctor’s chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year

By STEVE DOUGHTY  – MAIL ONLINE  – PUBLISHED: 23:08 GMT, 19 June 2012 | UPDATED: 13:20 GMT, 21 June 2012

  • Professor says doctors use ‘death pathway’ to euthenasia of the elderly
  • Treatment on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours
  • Around 29 per cent of patients that die in hospital are on controversial ‘care pathway’…

NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients (more…)

Elder Abuse Awareness Day – June 15

ON THIS DAY WE REMEMBER AND HONOUR these nine people and all other seniors who have suffered, or are still suffering, abuse of their legal and human rights in British Columbia’s health care system, and elsewhere.

   

 

 

 

 

Please take a few minutes to learn about and to share their stories with other people.
 

 

DOLORES Brent, Trail, B.C.

 

GARY Davis, Langley, B.C.

 

ROLAND Hunter, Vancouver, B.C.

 

ERNA Luttmer, Vancouver, B.C.

 

ELDON Mooney, North Vancouver, B.C.

 

KATHLEEN Palamarek, Victoria, B.C.

 

HILDA Penner, Abbottsford, B.C.

 

STEPHEN Piccolo, Kamloops, B.C.

 

JEAN Wilder, Invermere, B.C.

 

 

  

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – http://www.inpea.net/weaad.html

 
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Help STOP institutional elder abuse – write your elected representatives, voice your concerns online, let others know what’s happening, or… take whatever steps you think will help make a difference to protect seniors’ legal and human rights from abuse by Canadian health care institutions and public agencies.

The Coalition to Support SENIORS AT RISK

 

Jean Wilder still being held unlawfully, PGT applies to seize control of her assets

 

Jean Wilder of Invermere, B.C. is still being held unlawfully by the Interior Health Authority, with the full knowledge and apparent approval of the Public Guardian and Trustee of B.C.

No information has been provided to the family, despite repeated requests, about why she is still being held against her will more than three months after she was suddenly confined to Columbia House care facility and her family and friends were banned from visiting.

In our last report on Jean Wilder‘s family’s efforts to protect Jean and her rights, Marc Normand, Jean’s designated power of attorney, had just submitted the accounts for the two months he has been acting as her POA to the Public Guardian and Trustee’s office, as they had demanded.

In his submission to the PGT of the accounting statements, Marc Normand  asked the PGT for information about the unsubstantiated non-specific allegations made about him by the PGT in a “referral”, and requested information that would confirm the legal status of Jean Wilder, who the family views as being held unlawfully and without cause.

To this day, the PGT has apparently not provided one iota of evidence to Marc Normand that he has acted improperly in managing Jean Wilder’s assets. The PGT alleges that someone has accused him of something in a “referral”, but no one from the PGT has provided any substance to confirm, or information about, the “referral” allegations.

Public Guardian misleads Wilder family

The PGT had given Marc Normand to May 10, 2012, a discourteous and unreasonable deadline (one week) to submit the accounting, but he did manage to comply with that deadline.

Then, on May 17th, Marc Normand received a stunning letter in the mail. In the PGT’s response, Launa Monette, a Regional Consultant in the PGT’s Kelowna office, states:

“I have completed my assessment and (more…)

Wife wins court order to see husband of 33 years in B.C. hospital

 

Another story has been sent to Seniors at Risk that exposes inhumane and autocratic behaviour by health care facility staff towards seniors and their family members.

The situation in British Columbia health care facilities has become so dysfunctional that families, in times of great distress, are forced to resort to the B.C. Supreme Court to compel our publicly-funded health care providers and authorities to use common sense and display considerate behaviour.

Although this couple was successful in obtaining a court order against the health authority and the health care facility, few families can afford the extraordinary legal bills (usually $250 – $350 per hour) to hire lawyers for this purpose.

It begs the question – Are human rights and justice available only to the weathy and well-positioned in British Columbia today?

Story below.

Wife wins right to see husband in hospital

Judge grants unsupervised visits; VIHA calls it ‘a good outcome’

By Cindy E. Harnett, Times Colonist June 3, 2012

 
A Victoria woman has won the right to unsupervised visits with her husband of 33 years in Victoria General Hospital after Vancouver Island Health Authority imposed a ban restricting her to 20-minute conversations, over a speakerphone, twice weekly.
 
Retired cancer researcher Dr. Carol Haines, in her mid-60s, can now see her husband, Fred Oster, 67, a retired Royal Roads University professor, in hospital after the couple petitioned the courts.
 
On Friday, B.C. Supreme Court Judge Bob Johnston immediately granted daily, unsupervised visits to Haines from 1 p.m. until 4: 30 p.m. effective until June 11. VIHA and the petitioners will meet again Friday in an effort to reach a permanent agreement on visitation at the hospital.
 
Haines had been banned because of questions from VIHA about her psychiatric health, her impact on her husband’s health and the stress she placed on staff, the court heard. …
 
Oster suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in September 2011 that left him unable to live independently. Vancouver-based lawyer Joe Arvay, representing the couple, told the court Oster had been “involuntarily detained at Victoria General Hospital” since March 6. 
 
Restrictions on Haines’ visits have varied from daily, hourly supervised visits to two calls of 20 minutes twice weekly, over a speakerphone. The petitioners (more…)

Update – false arrest at Lions Gate Hospital

 

A reader sent us another, more detailed, story about the court award for false arrest at Lions Gate Hospital (excerpts below). Mr. Park’s elderly mother died of cancer “soon after the ordeal.”

This story describes the attitude and rough treatment of patients and visitors by staff, doctors and police, something that is apparently becoming more common in B.C.’s health care facilities.

Former North Van council candidate wins $15,000 for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment

By Todd Coyne – North Shore Outlook  Published: May 10, 2012

“A former District of North Vancouver council candidate was awarded $15,000 in damages Thursday after winning his lawsuit against the RCMP for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment. …
 
“Cpl. Norman took Mr. Park to the ground with the assistance of another officer and two or three security guards where he was restrained, held down and handcuffed,” the judge ruled.
 
“I characterize her actions as inattentiveness to rights, lack of care about her grounds for arrest and the authority for which she attended the hospital and the manner in which she treated Mr. Park after the arrest — keeping him for more than four hours completely unnecessarily.”
 
On June 5, 2006, Park had accompanied his elderly, cancer-stricken mother to the chemotherapy department at Lions Gate Hospital. While they did not have an appointment on this particular day, Park and his mother were in the habit of dropping in and speaking with her doctor — a habit that caused “something of a nuisance to the oncologist,” according to court documents.
 
This time the doctor flatly refused to speak with Park and his mother and threatened to call security if they did not leave the department.
 
Park and his mother decided to complain to hospital administration but were stopped on their way by two Paladin Security guards who (more…)

B.C. health care facilities ban families, intimidate visitors with police presence

Two more incidents this week reveal a disturbing and growing trend by health care facilities and health care authorities in British Columbia to intimidate and bully visitors.

Examples of health care facility staff banning family members and using police to intimidate visitors also feature prominently in the story of Jean Wilder of Invermere, B.C., first reported by Seniors at Risk on April 26, 2012 (see update at end of this posting).

 

Victoria General Hospital bans mother from seeing son

May 31, 2012:  Times-Colonist, Victoria, BC

A 73-year-old mother who traveled to Victoria from South Africa to care for her seriously ill son has been banned from Victoria General Hospital after she says she tapped a nurse on the head to get her attention.
 
Shirley Spence, originally from England, has been (more…)
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