CARE homes have been accused of using strong sedatives to kill coronavirus victims more quickly.
Prescriptions for midazolam exploded at the height of the pandemic, with some claiming that it “transformed end-of-life care into euthanasia”.
⚠️ Read our live coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates2Nursing Homes Charged With Using Strong Sedatives To Quickly Kill Covid-19 Victims In Nursing HomesCredit: Getty – Contributor
Official figures indicate that 38,352 hospital discharge orders for midazolam were issued in April, more than double the figure for February.
The monthly average for the past five years in England has been around 15,000.
An anti-euthanasia activist said the spike is proof that nursing homes have put their residents on “end-of-life” pathways, reports MailOnline.
Whistleblowers also claimed to have witnessed the abuse of sedatives – staff instructed to give them to dementia patients to prevent them from wandering the hallways.
Sun Online could not verify these claims.
Retired neurologist Professor Patrick Pullicino, who has exposed the wrongful administration of powerful pain relief to patients suspected of dying on the Liverpool Care Pathway, is concerned that the same thing will happen again.
He told MailOnline, “Midazolam depresses breathing and accelerates death. It turns end-of-life care into euthanasia. ”
He also claimed that some Covid-19 patients were wrongfully kept out of the hospital, despite the fact that their admission could have saved their lives.
Professor Pullicino accuses an official organization chart designed to help health workers decide which patients should be admitted to intensive care.
“To me, this flow chart encouraged the use of end-of-life sedation with midazolam – effectively leading to euthanasia routes,” he said.
Eileen Chubb of the Compassion in Care charity said that nursing home workers told her they thought the sedatives were used too freely during the pandemic.
She said some staff had the “final impression” that residents of very sick care homes should not be sent to the hospital.
The Association for Palliative Medicine responded and said there were good reasons for the increase in prescriptions for midazolam.
Dr. Amy Proffitt of the Association for Palliative Medicine told MailOnline, “I absolutely don’t believe there have been cases of euthanasia in nursing homes linked to Covid-19. ”
She said the drug was an obvious choice for patients with breathing difficulties – one of the main symptoms of coronavirus.
She added, “I can understand why people raise concerns, but when prescribed and used appropriately, midazolam will not accelerate or prolong someone’s death – it will only comfort. “