End of Life Care
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Thread: End of Life Care

  1. #1
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    Default End of Life Care

    So I have a very good friend who's mother is dying of cancer. She (my friend) has been very adamant that she is not to have any pain medicine or to be put on hospice. That hospice will kill her faster.

    Debate question - Would you want pain medicine at the end, or would you want to live as long as possible no matte what?

    ~Bonita~

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    I'm not understanding. Are you thinking pain medication reduces the amount of time a person lives? Why does she think that hospice would kill her faster, because of her own feelings, etc?
    Tracey

    DD: 7/27/08
    DD Twins: 8/4/09 @ 35 Wks - No NICU, woot!
    7/9/07

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    I have the same question as Beertje.

    Doesn't the mother have an advanced medical directive? I know that I never want my children making this decision for me, which is why DH and I have clear and concise living wills and AMA's outlining our specific wishes. As to not putting her in hospice, ultimately the Mothers insurance will stop paying for the hospital, which may sway your friends opinion.

    I think that failing to allow pain medicine is downright inhumane of your friend.

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    I'm completely confused. The daughter doesn't want the dying mother to have pain meds??? Why? Does she think staff at the hospice will "kill" her by providing pain control? Have they stopped actively trying to "cure" the cancer?

    I previously worked in palliative care. This person (and probably the mother as well) need a lot of education about palliative care processes and goals (ie. quality of life in the last days). Palliative care can be provided in hospice, hospital, or at home. The daughter really should be hooked up with counsel regarding the looming loss of her mother. The mom most definitely needs to get the paperwork (advanced directives, DNR status) organized.

    Good palliative care gives a person a pain free death. This means pain meds! Some forms of cancer are excruciatingly painful... What kind does the mother have?

    I will say though that this sort of mentality is super common. People think they'll become "addicted" to the narcotics. That people need food and IV fluids late into the palliative stage. It is all part of struggling to let go. A massive part of palliative nursing is education.

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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Cancer is a very painful death. Having no pain medicine will definitely kill her faster because she will want to be out of her misery. I think that as long as the pain can be managed I would like to stick around as long as possible but once it gets to the point that it's not worth it just let me go. I would prefer to be put on hospice and spend my last days at home if I had the choice.
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

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    I think withholding pain meds is straight up cruel and uninformed.

    I hope a social worker gets involved in her care, bc the daughter is just being mean and ignorant IMO.
    Audra
    DH Trey
    DD 8.03, DD 6.05, DS 3.07, DD 5.09, and DS arrived 6.17.12
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    Community Host wlillie's Avatar
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    Those two ideas don't really go well together. If she wants her mother to live longer, she needs to let her have pain medicine. I can't imagine wanting my parents (even the one that makes me bonkers) to be in pain for their last days here on Earth.

    We have Advanced directives too. I had mine done during the kidney donation because if anything happened it would have put my Mom in some seriously uncomfortable positions making decisions that she wouldn't have been in the right frame of mind to make. I cannot imagine asking my child (even as an adult) to make those decisions for his parent.

    Both me and dh want pain medicine but no extraordinary measures. If there is a slim chance we could come back from whatever is allowing someone else to make decisions for us but it would take a fortune to wait it out or the resources could be used for another person who has a much better chance, I can't imagine having to make someone else make that decision.

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    I would want to be in my own home as long as possible with pain meds for sure. I think Hospice is a wonderful program, and have seen it at work with various family members, much better than any care facility they had or others were in. Simply because HOME is a comforting place.
    DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03

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    Why does your friend think being on Hospice will kill her faster? It sounds like she got some wrong information from somewhere.

    The debate question makes it sound like she thinks pain medication will kill you faster because of how it's worded (since the choice is either, "be on pain meds" --OR-- "live longer"). Maybe you didn't intend for it to sound that way?

    I would want to be on pain medication if it was necessary. Even the Bible says, ".... use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities." (See 1 Timothy 5:23)
    ~Mary

    DD 2/'07

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    I have been super confused as well. I have never heard of being against pain medicine or hospice. I think she is clouded by her grief and not thinking straight? I wanted to see if it was a prevalent belief. I am very much hoping that someone from the hospital will talk to her, but she has her mind firmly made up that pain medicine will make her die faster.

    A little back story, Her mother has breast cancer that has spread through her body. They gave her one dose of Chemo. She went to the hospital asking for pain medicine because under her arm was all swollen. It ended up being an infection. Her white blood count is .1. She is in kidney failure and is also having heart problems. She has been in and out of wakefullness and has been sleeping all of the time. Somehow my friend thinks it is the pain medicine that causing her to sleep and go down hill so fast? I am sure if it was my mother I would not necessarily make smart decisions either though.
    Last edited by AlyssaEimers; 01-24-2012 at 04:17 PM. Reason: grammer

    ~Bonita~

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