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palliative care is quickly becoming a euphemism for euthanasia.

Livingbyfaith's picture
Livingbyfaith
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2007

research this at catholiceducation.org.  My husband was just denied food and water for days until I signed papers to admit him to hospice to get him out of the hospital. It was too late, he died several days later.  To have this knowledge can enable you to fight the so called palliative care division of the hospital when the decide to quit treatment  They even had a sitter in the room to keep me from feeding him. 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4272
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry for your loss and that is terrible that he was denied food and water.  Just can't understand why a hospital would do that to a patient.  Always thought that they were to help them no matter what decision was made.  I'd sure be looking into if this is standard practice and maybe bring it to the attention of the local news.  My sympathies to you and your family.

Kim

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1307
Joined: Apr 2010

 

Wow!  That's just unbelievable, and heartbreaking. I agree with Kim, a 6:00pm news story followed by a nice lawsuit might be in order here.  I am truly stunned by this; I am so sorry that this hospital did this to you, it's simply horrible.  :(

My sincere sympathies to you and your family.  

Cynthia

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

I am very sorry for your loss.  May your husband rest in peace.

 

Chelsea

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2951
Joined: Jan 2010

I certainly don't know the specifics of your husband's situation or the facility he was in.

I do know that here in Virginia when admitted to the hospital for any reason they ask about a Living Will or Advanced Directive. 

If either exists, or one is executed at the hospital those are the guidelines they follow in terminal care.

I have never heard of a case where food and water were denied unless expressly stated in one of these documents...unless it is medically necessary.  IV fluids are often given is the patient is unable to consume by mouth.  In fact most stories are just the reverse with nutrition being given over the specified guidelines.

I truely hope that your situation was the exception and not the rule if care was denied over your husband's express wishes.

Marie who loves kitties

 

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 970
Joined: Oct 2010

Sorry for your loss and trauma.  That would sound like the T4 division alright.  You might inquire to make sure there was no miscommunication but that doesn't sound good.  Thanks for telling us, please tell others, as many as you can.  Several years ago, I had a somewhat different experience with nursing homes and the state oversight people that left a very bad taste in my mouth.  I will never trust either again.   I think we all need to try to become as independent as possible, and be prepared.  We actually try to bail out of the hospital before they expect us, and go home, with prior preparations for nurse, meds, IV etc.  

Our homes as our castles may take on a new dimension.   

UncleBuddy
Posts: 635
Joined: Aug 2013

That is insane! I am so sorry for your loss! It must have been very painful for you to watch. I don't even know how to respond to something like that except to say maybe the news is a good idea, as well as a good lawyer. 

Ladylacy
Posts: 484
Joined: Apr 2012

So sorry to hear of the loss of your husband.  Did he sign something that you were not aware of?  My husband elected hospice care without ever going into the hospital and he signed all the papers himself.  He is on a feeding tube but said that when his time came to stop everything and has signed a DNR.  I would check to see what papers were signed and if there is nothing then I would certainly consult with a lawyer.  The majority of hospitals want to continue with food and water even when the patient and the family doesn't want to.  No doctor or hospital has the right to make that decision on its own.

 

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2060
Joined: Oct 2009

I am so sorry for you loss for I know personally how difficult it can be.  What you experienced is just awful.  Of course, I don't know the facility or reasoning for all of this but it seems just cruel.  Generally the wishes of the family are followed.

My experience was just the opposite.  My understanding pallative care is comfort care and that is what I experienced.  I had a medical directive in place and the hospital George was in followed it without question.  In fact I was told that without this medical directive they were legally bound to "throw everything they had" at the patient in life thretening situations.  With the medical directive this did not happen.  Nothing was withheld and I was asked if it was okay to do this or that.  If I said no, it wasn't done.  As an example they wanted to put a C-pap machine on George and he was fighting it something awful so when I said to stop, was this absolutely necessary, they did stop.  They also proposed kidney dialysis, when I asked exactly how helpful this was and could it turn things around since he went into renal failure they said no, most likely it would not turn things around, so no dialysis. 

My friends these are no easy decisions.  George did receive IV fluids, some medications to keep him comfortable, pain free and calm, etc. but they told me what he was getting, what it was for, etc. and was it okay.  George received excellent end of life care.  The hospital staff were caring, attentive and informative and I am so grateful to them.

That is why it is so important to have a medical directive.  It does not have to be a fancy document.  When George and I did a trust and will a medical directive was in place and when things did not look good I was asked if I had a medical directive and they needed a copy which was provided. 

I am sorry you did not have the same experience.   My sincere condolences.

Tina

Livingbyfaith's picture
Livingbyfaith
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2007

He signed a dnr, nothing else.  He wanted food and water.  They said he would vomit, not when I got him home and fed him  They just let him lay with very low fluids.  Was a terrible experience.  My family saw this too.  Nurse would meet me at the door saying I could give him nothing.

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2060
Joined: Oct 2009

If your husband signed a DNR that said do nothing, then that is what the hospital is legally bound to do.  A DNR is in many instances not the thing to sign.  A medical directive giving someone authority to make medical decisions is the way to go.  The person you choose will know your wishes and despite what anyone says, what that person says is what will be done.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss but must add that pallative care is not euthanasia.  I am somewhat offended that you say this because I chose pallative care and in no way, shape or form did I euthanize my husband! 

Tina

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2263
Joined: Oct 2011

 medical care provided by physicians, nurses and social workers that specializes in the relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness.

 

I think it's safe to say that we would all want that at some point in this journey.

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2060
Joined: Oct 2009

And I hope everyone here does receive that at some point in their journey if necessary.  Amen.

Tina

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4673
Joined: May 2005

I've never heard of anyone having an experience like that. I'd strongly suggest looking into this further. That's not how it's supposed to work at all.

Which article were you referring to at catholiceducation.org? I couldn't find anything.

Livingbyfaith's picture
Livingbyfaith
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2007
Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1488
Joined: Jan 2013

Please accept my sincerest condolences. 

I am so very sorry that your husband passed in such a trumatic way. 

May you find comfort as time goes by.

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2263
Joined: Oct 2011

It's terrible and very traumatic to lose a loved one, especially to cancer.  Once you have time to mourn a little, you may want to talk to a lawyer about this case.  He/she could help you get more information about the hospital's role in this situation.  It is certainly not the normal way to approach end of life circumstances, and palliative care is in no way the same as euthanasia.  But if the hospital went against your husband's written wishes, then you may have a case against them.

Condolences to you and your family~Ann Alexandria

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1225
Joined: Oct 2010

We are sorry to hear about your loss.  It is sad when a hospital gives up on someone. 

 

Best Always,  mike

Scubadan (not verified)

this has happened during a part of both of your lives that should have been serene and compassionate.

I have no knowledge of what your loved one's ultimate written wishes were, but I sincerely believe that it would not have included you having been blocked at his door denying him even a small spoonful of broth as pallative care.  If he would have vomited, they should have been on alert to come immediately and suction him. that's one of the reasons suction is at every bedside. They could have at least put a nasogastric tube in and allowed small sips of clear liquids as pallative care.

I admit I am guilty of not yet signing a Power of Attorney to my wife.  It is something all of us, even the healthy ones, should have in the event you are not able to make your own cognitive decisions.  We all sign a lot of papers on entry to hospital care that allows them to give treatment in the best interest of the patient.  However a lot of people don't realize that you still have the right to refuse certain treatments and the staff must abide by your decision and still provide other care.  They can't just kick you out or refuse to give other treatment.

I agree that in due time you should first request a copy of all his records.  They cannot refuse. You should consult with an attorney for actions that may help keep someone else from having to go through such an abberrant treatment of both patient and loved ones.

Put this all out of your mind for a while and celebrate the time you had together.  Healing prayers, Dan

fatbob2010's picture
fatbob2010
Posts: 397
Joined: May 2012

I am so sorry that you had to go through this.  

How can a person or organization consciously act in this way?  It is hard for me to fathom this from a profession that wraps itself in a mantra of helping.  

Is it possible that he had signed, or stated, a desire to the staff about his wishes that you were not aware of?

I have trouble wrapping my mind around this situation and look at my own situation with more trepidation than ever.

The only way that I can see to prevent a situation like this is to have clear and available instructions.  Here is a rub, for some, since this is a discussion that is hard to have with loved one's.   Who should have the final say and who, or whom, decides what care is appropriate.  Ultimately, I believe, that it is the patient's option without exception as long as they are able to make decisions for themselves.  Yet, the implication is that others in the family must respect these wishes beyond their own.

Sources of help may be found in the Chaplaincy or personal clergy, attorneys who have knowledge of these matters, and appropriately trained and experienced Social Work staff.

As another has said: Take this time to remember the good times.  When the time is right request copies of records and if not satisfied consult counsel.  Be advised however, do not delay too long since in some cases there are strict time guidelines to consider.

Please accept my hope that you will find comfort in this trying time.

Art

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2951
Joined: Jan 2010

Palliative care is totally oriented to the comfort of the patient, not only physically but mentally and emotionally.

My sister has essentially been receiving this type of care since she was hospitalized with bone mets.  There is nothing more to be done to stave off the cancer which will cause her death, but the medications and care she is receiving now make these last days, weeks or whatever bearable and gives her the chance to be at peace without pain.

Marie who loves kitties

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