Sometimes knowing when to stop is one of the hardest things in medicine.
I find looking after a patient list so hard because I have lots of sick patients who sometimes die. It's difficult to know how far to go before you hold your hands up and admit defeat.
The debate at the moment with the Liverpool Care Pathway makes me very frustrated. The LCP is not a morphine pump to kill people (as a patient told me this week), but a (hopefully) more comfortable and less agitated way for dying people to pass away.
As part of a multi disciplinary team I have completed the paperwork for the LCP several times and it's never been something I've regretted. In fact on one occasion I felt horrific as I'd missed the opportunity to start the LCP and a patient died very distressed.
Making a decision about when to stop medical treatment for a patient is one of the hardest to make and is even harder given the appalling press coverage recently.
So much for supporting the NHS