Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Continuous deep sedation

Dutch research reflects problems with the Liverpool care pathway

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 24 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:905
  1. Adrian J Treloar, consultant and senior lecturer in old age psychiatry
  1. 1Memorial Hospital, London SE18 3RZ
  1. adrian.treloar{at}

The Liverpool care pathway (LCP) is the UK’s main clinical pathway of continuous deep sedation and is promoted for roll out across the NHS.1 Rietjens et al’s study highlights some serious weaknesses in its design.2

The eligibility criteria do not ensure that only people who are about to die are allowed on to the pathway. They allow people who are thought to be dying, are bed bound, and are unable …

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