Awful: Hundreds of Britons Reportedly Died of Thirst Over the Last Decade

Posted: Dec 02, 2013 3:30 PM

An appalling report via the Daily Telegraph: between 2003 and 2012, 1,158 “home residents” died of thirst or severe dehydration. Worse, these patients weren’t even abandoned or alone or forgotten; they were supposedly under the supervision of trained medical professionals:

More than 1,000 care home residents have died of thirst or while suffering severe dehydration over the past decade, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Elderly and vulnerable patients were left without enough water despite being under the supervision of trained staff in homes in England and Wales.

One spokeswoman for a charity organization described the treatment of Britain’s helpless and elderly patients as an “utter disgrace”:

Charities called for an urgent overhaul in social care, saying that the general public would be outraged if animals were treated in the same way.

“How can we call ourselves civilised when people are left to starve or die of thirst? … It is an utter disgrace that they are ever left without the most basic care,” said Dr Alison Cook, a director at the Alzheimer’s Society.

The official figures are indeed bone chilling:

Figures obtained by this newspaper under freedom of information laws found that 1,158 care home residents suffered dehydration-related deaths between 2003 and 2012. Dehydration was named as either the underlying cause of death or a contributory factor, according to analysis of death certificates by the Office of National Statistics.

Some 318 care home residents were found to have died from starvation or when severely malnourished, while 2,815 deaths were linked to bed sores.

The real figures are likely to be far higher because residents who died while in hospital were not included.

The National Health Service (NHS), as Guy points out, is a single-payer system run by the British government. Such reports, therefore, seem to raise questions about the efficacy of such an institution, especially since these figures do not even include the poor souls who perished outside their own homes. Meanwhile, here in the States, many prominent Democrats are proudly on-the-record voicing their support for single-payer. According to them, it’s what we can all look forward to if and when Obamacare implodes. How splendid.

UPDATE: See this post for clarification about where these figures came from.

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