Deadly Guidance

The Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (LACDP) professes to be involved in public engagement on a proposed substitute for the UK’s Liverpool Care Pathway. Families of victims who died on the pathway and many who made submissions to the Neuberger Review have been omitted from its trumpeted ‘public engagement exercise’. This is, perhaps, unsurprising. The LACDP is led by longtime admirer of the Liverpool Care Pathway, Dr Bee Wee. Families of victims of the infamous Death Pathway (with its self fulfilling sedation-dehydration regimes) have outlined their concerns about Bee Wee and have already announced no confidence in both her and her public consultation exercise. This notwithstanding, the guiding principles outlined in the recently publicised document apparently dated 25th October 2013 nonetheless introduce new dangers for patients in hospitals, hospices, care and individual homes nationally.

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On the Function and Purpose of an Inquest

Neither justice nor public confidence has been served by the costly three month inquest into Mark Duggan’s death. Part of the problem is that the inquest has been used as the vehicle for an examination of matters more appropriate, at least in cases like these, to the criminal process. The inquest has a function that is in part procedural: to permit appropriate matters to be heard in a criminal court. What we have now is a finding that Duggan though unarmed was not unlawfully killed by the police who shot him. No-one is likely to come before a criminal court charged with his homicide and questions remain in the minds of many that justice has not been done. What should have been a straightforward matter heard by a jury in a criminal court now has the appearance of an institutionally protected police hit job.

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