Skip to comments.Hard Choice for a Comfortable Death: Sedation
Posted on 12/29/2009 9:35:32 PM PST by malkee
In some of the rooms in the hospice unit at Franklin Hospital, in Valley Stream on Long Island, the patients were sleeping because their organs were shutting down, the natural process of death by disease. But at least one patient had been rendered unconscious by strong drugs.
The patient, Leo Oltzik, an 88-year-old man with dementia, congestive heart failure and kidney problems, was brought from home by his wife and son, who were distressed to see him agitated, jumping out of bed and ripping off his clothes. Now he was sleeping soundly with his mouth wide open.
Obviously, hes much different than he was when he came in, Dr. Edward Halbridge, the hospice medical director, told Mr. Oltziks wife. Hes calm, hes quiet.
Mr. Oltziks life would end not with a bang, but with the drip, drip, drip of an IV drug that put him into a slumber from which he would never awaken. That drug, lorazepam, is a strong sedative. Mr. Oltzik was also receiving morphine, to kill pain. This combination can slow breathing and heart rate, and may make it impossible for the patient to eat or drink. In so doing, it can hasten death.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Hospice was giving morphine to my Grandmother, “to help her breathing.” Even though it does the opposite. It was illegal as well, because that is not a valid reason to precribe it.
I believe the same thing happened to my Dad. I saw him in the hospital the night before he died, and while somewhat out of it, he could talk and sit up. The next day when the morphine drip started he first went into a coma, then hours later started gasping for air (his neck and chest would lift off the bed as if he was suffocating)
Don't sweat it. If things continue as they seem to be Big Brother will make that choice for you. Welcome to The Brave New World.
We were actually given the morphine in drops to give my stepfather. He refused them even though he couldn’t talk. He waved the bottle away. I wonder how many people who aren’t being cared for by family would do the same thing if they had the choice?
Although I don’t see anything wrong with the ‘cocktail’ if that’s what you want.
From what I understand....Hospice requires the patient/family to relinquish all control FROM the physician TO Hospice. I know that if someone is heading to Hospice....they are going to die....how fast, well...it seems it’s up to Hospice.
Same thing happened to my Uncle, I suspect ...
Got a call from my Aunt on a Saturday saying that the end was near. Drove my Mom 3 hours from MD to Jersey on Sunday. Was shocked when we saw him - totally out of it with a morphine drip. Spent about 4 hours with him and the family at his side, the nurse came in and adjusted the drip like three times. Then had to drive back to MD.
By the time I got my Mom to her house, we got a call from my Aunt that he was gone ...
I never questioned my Aunt about it - and never will. But still, it haunts me ...
In my opinion, the way they do things is not ethical. But they think they are angels, so they won’t consider anything else.
So, you would rather see your Uncle writhing in pain and then dying then seeing him sedated and then dying? I’m confused.
If he was jumping around like the article mentions, how close to death was he, exactly?
My uncle, who had cancer, was not writhing in pain two days earlier when I last saw him. That is not to say he did not have pain. But I believe he would have liked to have remained clear headed until his death. My father, on the other hand, suffered more, imo, because of the morphine. Two nights before his death he stopped breathing for 45 seconds. I told the nurse about this, and her response was to blame me for swabbing out his mouth. At that point, he was not in pain and could still converse with me. I think he too would have liked to have lived as long as he could.
Unfortunately, you’re not clearminded up to your death. Have you ever watched anyone go through the dying process? It’s not like the movies.
Hospice changes things legally. Basically, when somebody is enrolled into hospice they are pre filling out the death cert. When a non-hospice patient dies there is an investigation into cause of death by coroner. When you die from hospice, no investigation. Straight to the funeral home. Also, the first thing the hospice workers do is collect the morphine. Bottom line, it’s a legal way to check out with morphine because there will be no toxicology report. Shhh secret!
You don't get it - it is basically euthanasia ... they start the drip, and keep upping it until the patient gets into a coma. Rather than manage the pain by increasing/decreasing as needed, so that the patient can continue living, they keep upping the dose until they die ...
Wasn't a hospice - was the nursing home where he had lived for 2+ years ...
No reason to get nasty. I just explained how I have watched two people going through the death process, with the “help” of morphine. Before they were given morphine, they were conversant and clear-headed. Within three days of being given morphine, they both died. In my view, it is murder, particularly if the patient hasn’t specifically requested morphine. Are you a nurse?
WAIT ONE SECOND. You are lying...The three times we had hospice working with us...the procedure was this. When the patient died, the hospice worker took ALL THE MEDICATION AND FLUSHED IT DOWN THE TOILET WITH ME PRESENT How dare you besmirch some of the most compassionate, hard working people there are. SHAME ON YOU.
I believe the US Congress is very supportive of hospice for Americans that they will be rationing and denying care to. Read their DeathCare bill strongly supported by this Administration and his thug ghouls.
No, but I’ve been through three hospice situations with my loved ones.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.