In what is being described as a backlash against the overuse of the pathway, terminally ill patients are being supplied with special cards warning doctors not to place them on the pathway.

Prominent doctors have been reported as saying that the pathway is being overused and has become a substitute to euthanasia.  

The anti-euthanasia charity, Alert, is distributing the cards. The cards read "please do not give me the Liverpool Care Pathway treatment without my informed consent or that of a relative". They are intended to work in a similar way to Advance Decisions which are drafted when people have capacity and outline what treatment a patient would not wish to have undertaken in the event they lose capacity and certain circumstances exist.  

The cards may appear in the near future. Readers will be aware that the issues of both euthanasia and consent are complex. Advance Decisions must face strict criteria under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, especially where they relate to life sustaining treatment and readers who are clients can visit our Health Resource Centre for further information. We would invite readers to contact us if they require advice about a particular issue.