British Lung Foundation
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'Murdered' by the pathway: How Margaret's doctors told her family she had terminal cancer, then put her on a death pathway that should have

Shocking story ... Margaret Hesketh died at Wigan Hospital in November 2014, having been diagnosed with cancer.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died of pneumonia and never had cancer.

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How tragically sad, it seems we are a burden on the NHS.It's a disgrace when people are treat that way. I thought Doctors took an oath to preserve life.,😭

I know with what happend to my dad things have not changed JUST not as public.

That why i asked if my dad was on sedatives as to easy for them to do say what they like.

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my wife's mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer last feb originally told she had 2 months to 2 years max then she see a different doctor to be told 2 to 6 months nothing they could do , three different hospitals all saying terminal cancer then in the October told her she didn't have cancer it was a mistake must have just been an infection that she had , she had given stuff away in the house cos she said she wouldn't be needing it , dawn was helping her arranging her funeral ,


That is shocking hope you never let them away with it.

But is hard when have system against you.


no she is taking things further , lucky she was at home and had carers come in looking after her so she has been taken good care of , im afraid she isn't the only one in our area that its happened too , one man who they told was terminal sold his business and was having chemo to be told a few months later he didn't have cancer he though the chemo had work till they said you never had it in first place ,


Hi mmezetor sorry to hear your mother-in-law went through that . I did too some time ago I was put through the process of lung cancer proceedure, to be told it was wrong in the end up around two years later at which stage I was diagnosed with COPD. It seems they can't tell the difference to me, in spite of all the modern tests. But it leaves a lasting emotional scar, and to spite that experience the same doctors recently told me a blood test was alright when it was not. It is a terrible state of affairs and Jeff is right to bring it to our notice, nothing has changed.

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sorry to hear you had the same thing , they don't seem to see how many people it effects apart from the patient , dawn was an emotional wreck she is the one who lives closed her sister lives several miles away so most of if was left to dawn to deal with , dawns nan is in her mid 80s all she could see was she would lose her daughter before the year was out she got ill with worry ,

Its an aweful emotional time, my daughter went with me and she thought he was implying cancer was on the scan he just showed us. I even had a BroncHoscopy putting my self at further risk of lung damage and more worry. Had to have a second one too to determine a diagnosis eventually. Had a lung cancer speciallist nurse too, she is still in that department to date. So I totally understand how Dawn must have felt at the time I am sure like myself these headlines often bring back memories.

Same thing happened to me, Katie. I was told I had lung cancer....I didn't. It was pneumonia and pleurisy and the delay in receiving ab's left lovely scarring in my lung. 🙁

Have lung scarring too, this was my second mis diagnosis and the sagas keep hitting the headlines, it distroys your faith in the medical profession but I have had very good treatment too, it's the bad you remember most though.

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Omg how could they mistake infection for cancer??was that of lung idiots half them dunno what there I always say tests can be wrong but they depend on them too much nowadays if it's not on the test your mad or they won't do anything! N your stuck suffering.

no not of lungs it was a lump in the bile duct she had to have a stent put in to widen the bile duct , she was seen at three hospital one thought it was cancer the second confirmed it was and the third was a second opinion to say yes it defiantly is and no we cant operate , it was only by chance that a new doctor had taken over at the first hospital and had been reading her notes and wrote to her gp to say he would like to see her and he might be able to do something for her , it was through him that she found out it wasn't , if he hadn't come along she would have been left waiting to die

Disgusting isn't it mmzetor, shows how you can't even rely on a second opinion, there is no measure on the emotional stress it causes . How do they mistake other things for cancer especially to say terminal. Can understand a cyst or something being mistaken for cancer till biopsed, but terminal cancer usually is so far advanced there can be no mistake as to what it is. But your case proves that theory is not so either while other have missed cancers and die what a shambles.

Gees that's amazing!! I always say it docs differ n patients die that's why you should always go elsewhere if not happy it's happened me too often. I know they can make mistakes but some of them r just unreal. Very few can think outside the box n go beyond the test or question a test. They're all afraid to discomode each other n stick together. Thank god for that new doc seems like miracle he came along, obviously competent which is rare...anyone else would just take last notes 4 truth n not even question them.

That's totally appalling's the 21st century...not the Dark Ages!!!

We'll soon be back in the Dark ages Vashti with the contempt for the NHS this shameless government is showing.


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Agreed and Criminal

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That's dreadful JAS and l wonder how many more there are who have been set on a pathway. Very sad. Xxxxx

How tragic. And frightening to read the experiences of fellow HU members confirming the article with their own experiences.

It makes you doubt everything. 18 years ago a GP told my late Mum to stop crying and making a fuss about a bit of tummy pain. She was of the old school and didn't show pain but she knew already then and was confirmed a week later that she had terminal cancer and was dead within the month.

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Your poor Mum...hope she haunts that Doctor now and makes their life pure misery...


Sickens me this as if ppl have nothing better to be doing thanks going into a doc to be humiliated like that making you feel like a bold school child. Your poor mother, sorry to hear that. There should be a law they have to check things out if you complain. Just putting ppl down to hypochondriac is unacceptable. How do they 'know' really they don't they just guess n use their psychic powers. It's pretty sad.

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OMG that is shocking. What is this country come to. I hope her family sue that is total incompetence. They must be very upset knowing she could have been treated. My heart goes out to them .xx

It seems almost impossible to hold these people to account - in any case nothing can make up for the emotional damage caused.

Thank you for this info. Just recently my mother (who has severe alzheimers but is still at home) went to hospital with a compacted bowel. We went by ambulance as I didn't realise what was the problem. She was given fluids and intravenous antibiotics. She was peaceful but floppy. At the changeover, a new doctor offered her morphine. We refused as she wasn't in pain. He then refused to give her any more fluids and put her Nil By Mouth. She had begun to recover by this time and was capable of eating. My sister had an "argument" with the doctor and demanded an ambulance to bring her home. We got the ambulance and placed her on the commode. She was no longer compacted and is back to normal. We do not want our mother to die of dehydration yet this was to be taken out of our hands. Who was he to play God? - Yet he felt he could. He didn't know her. He didn't ask questions of us. He didn't touch her. He didn't come closer than a couple of metres from the bed - yet he made that decision. What made him think he had the right?

We are more proactive with this as we have seen it before with my aunt. In her case we said she was to continue with fluids after much pressure from the doctor to stop the fluids. That night I came to visit her and checked her fluid intake. Behind our backs he had reduced the fluids from 1 litre per 24 hours to 250mls per 24 hours. Yes, legally he was still giving her fluids but not enough to maintain life and particularly for someone who was ill. We demanded it increased and she did come too and was not brain dead as he had told us.

The cheek of him arrogant know it alls must kill hundreds in their careers.

That's an awfully sad story and I'm sorry for her family and others who been misdiagnosed and mistreated in this way. This was a particularly disturbing piece of information;

"Horrifyingly, doctors had realised their mistake four days before she died, but did not tell Margaret or her family and continued with their death plan regardless.

" That must surely qualify her death as premeditated murder or at least unlawful killing?

Are these hopsital doctors who put patients on these ‘pathway-style end of life palliative care plans' the very same ones who publicly oppose voluntary euthanasia on the grounds it goes against the hippocratic oath or that greedy relatives might take advantage of vulnerable relatives? If so, they're a bunch of hypocrites.

My thoughts are that they believe in Euthanasia and believe they have some sort of demi-god right to choose whom they deem is unworthy to live. The sheer lack of second thought and belief in their own superiority to make that decision against the wishes of everyone else and without consultation is extremely dangerous. Yes, they are murderers and don't recognise it and their sense of their own importance is such that they will probably never acknowledge it.

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