According to the article in the Daily Mail, the 2010 statistics break down this way:
* 155 people died in hospital from dehydration.Officials pointed out that people who die of cancer or Alzheimer's disease often have difficulty taking nutrition or hydration near the end of life.
* 48 people died in hospital from malnutrition.
* 812 people died from other causes, but were found to be dehydrated.
* 301 people died from other causes, but were found to be malnourished.
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association stated:
‘These figures are a terrible indictment of our precious National Health Service.
‘They represent avoidable deaths. These people needed our care when they were at their most vulnerable.’Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, said:
‘There must be systematic monitoring of malnutrition in older patients. From the hospital ward to the hospital board, everyone needs to take responsibility and help stop this scandal.’Early this month Prime Minister Cameron announced that nurses would have to undertake hourly ward rounds to check whether patients are hungry or thirsty, need help going to the lavatory or are in pain or discomfort.
The article stated that:
Reports by the Care Quality Commission, the Health Service Ombudsman and the Patients Association have all highlighted poor care. In October, a review by the CQC watchdog found that half of 100 hospitals visited by its inspectors were not doing enough to ensure elderly patients had enough to eat or drink.
In Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcestershire, doctors had resorted to prescribing patients with drinking water to ensure nurses did not forget.Many of the deaths by dehydration / malnutrition are the result of the poor care from indifference, neglect and elder abuse. Some of these deaths are due to the abuse of the proper use of palliative care techniques.
It is common knowledge that when a person is dying and nearing death, often a they loose the ability to eat or drink or they are unable to assimilate fluids and food. These circumstances are signs that death is nearing.
This is another form of euthanasia. The person is directly and intentionally killed by dehydration. Many people call this "slow euthanasia" and others call it euthanasia by dehydration.
If euthanasia or assisted suicide became legal, these cases would represent the difficult cases that show that 32% of euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium, died by euthanasia without request or consent.