26 Sep 2009

Palliative care programme being introduced in Canterbury

6:13 am on 26 September 2009

The Canterbury District Health Board is introducing a programme that provides care for dying patients.

The Liverpool care pathway scheme will be launched in 20 facilities in Canterbury by the end of the year.

Under the programme, doctors can stop giving drugs and fluids to patients close to death.

However, DHB member Andrew Dickerson says the decision should be reconsidered because the scheme has been criticised by specialists in Britain.

He says some specialists worry that treatment options are withdrawn too soon in many cases.

But an LCP spokesperson says the scheme is simply standardising the method of care given to dying patients.

She says nine district health boards already use the scheme, which has been approved by the Health and Disability Commissioner.