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Old 10-28-2018, 11:00 PM   #41
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He is in hospice now, in a skilled nursing facility. But the hospice folks and the SNF havenít been on the same page, they just made a colossal week long mistake so bad my Dad was crying because of the pain one morning despite morphine. The medical professionals have done some good things and they have good intentions, but they arenít coordinating with each other - my sister has caught lots of mistakes, some were avoided but some were after the fact. This morning another new nurse appeared who didnít know anything about my Dad, my sister had to intervene - and he and Medicare/Tricare are paying $ for this? My Dad will pass away, helpless, after weeks in pain. Why?

Again, Iím not at all cavalier about death with dignity laws, but thereís no good reason I can think of to put my Dad through this - he is begging for it to end.

Sorry to her about your Dad....


When my mom was in SNF they had a Dr who would prescribe whatever they thought was 'good' even though they never came by to see her... it started with her visit to the hospital and that Dr who never was around to talk to (and all the nurses said she did it to them also) changed a bunch of my mom's med to meds she like better... then SNF doc changed a few more... they left her in bed to rot... but getting the $289 per day plus rehab fees... my sister (and RN) said it is a well known racket in Texas and there is nothing that you can do as they will ignore you requests and do as they want...


At least my mom is not in pain.... just having problems getting around and swelling..



But I do agree with you... when my dad had cancer throughout his body he wanted it to end... so he ended it.... he always said he did not want to die in a hospital and he did not...
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:25 AM   #42
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I accept your opinion, but I differ because I am not in favor of needless suffering for myself or anyone I care about.


I agree with you, Silver.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:40 AM   #43
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My wife and I live in Switzerland and are members of Dignitas, with an eye to potentially using their services if it ever came to that. Meanwhile we support their activities because we believe in their mission and how they approach it.

They counsel you, the client, from the start and try to steer you toward a hoped for objective of *not* offing yourself; but then, if they feel you are certain and two different doctors have signed off after examinations, they will come to your home (or hotel room, I think) and set up the apparatus for introduction to your system a lethal drug that your doctor has prescribed for you.

However, they are very strict on one thing: only the person who is the client may activate the drug flow. Otherwise, it's murder instead of suicide. Your family or close friends can help in all other ways except this crucial one, as far as I understand.

The Swiss government got a bit antsy about the previous single doctor rule and doubled it as a precaution. After the death, Dignitas stays with the body and notifies the police and signs the statement about what happened. They can also handle the, erm,...disposition of your mortal coil, per your wishes.

We came home from a holiday out of town last year to find that our upstairs neighbor used Dignitas while we were away. It was very sad to learn about her demise, but we were glad that she had the option.

When my wife's father, in the US, was very ill with dementia we had a visit with him from his gerontologist who said, "We doctors are very good at keeping organs alive; but sometimes to the detriment of the whole person." He asked FIL if he wanted to die with dignity or via heroic measures that would be painful and drawn out, and where the end would be the same. FIL chose the former and when, later that year, his condition really deteriorated and he felt he couldn't go on anymore, he just stopped eating and drinking, refused medication, and was gone in three days. He was a brilliant university professor of electrical engineering (who invented satellite telephony), who bowed out with as much dignity as he was able to command. We felt glad for that, at least; but recognized FIL's luck in getting an exceptionally understanding physician.

Here is the Dignitas link in English: Home

-BB


Thank you for sharing this link. The explanation of their process is very thorough. Apparently one doesnít have to be a resident of Switzerland to use their services, but it is a process that takes some time and it sounds as though there are multiple opportunities to confirm or reverse oneís decision before the decision to end life is carried out.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:23 AM   #44
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I think anyone who's watched a loved one suffer needlessly understands that there should be better options.

I really don't understand why anyone would oppose the concept of death with dignity. Is it just a personal fear of dying? Mistrust of doctors and family who might have evil intent?

I know some have mentioned the fear of making a mistake. I get the point. But it seems to me the risk is very small, compared to the very large risk of being kept alive, suffering and with no prospects for any quality of life ahead.

It also seems a little selfish. I've always tried to contribute something to the lives of friends and family, and to society in general. When I can no longer do that, my job here will be done. No need to hang around just to prove I can keep breathing, as some kind of a living trophy to medical science. No need to burden my family.
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:00 AM   #45
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I think anyone who's watched a loved one suffer needlessly understands that there should be better options.

I really don't understand why anyone would oppose the concept of death with dignity. Is it just a personal fear of dying? Mistrust of doctors and family who might have evil intent?

I know some have mentioned the fear of making a mistake. I get the point. But it seems to me the risk is very small, compared to the very large risk of being kept alive, suffering and with no prospects for any quality of life ahead.

It also seems a little selfish. I've always tried to contribute something to the lives of friends and family, and to society in general. When I can no longer do that, my job here will be done. No need to hang around just to prove I can keep breathing, as some kind of a living trophy to medical science. No need to burden my family.
Well said, thanks.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:05 AM   #46
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I am sorry to hear of this, and I do agree that these laws should change. In the case of my Dad, his choice was very, VERY clear. When it appeared that his end was near, we discussed his wishes again and he was able to die with dignity. He suffered from COPD (as did my Mom) but with some added complications. In the end, he decided to stop eating and drinking and ultimately died from terminal dehydration. We had read many, many scholarly articles about this "mode of death" and although there was some conflicting information, the overall consensus is that it's not that bad of a way to check out. I was apprehensive initially, but in the end, it was the best choice he could have made. The last couple of hours were a very quiet slumber and eventually he just stopped breathing. No wet "lungs" or difficult cheynes stokes breathing that my Mom had.

Nonetheless, for a person to make this choice, there has to be a living will/advanced directive that would allow for this. And, it can be tough for a family to respect the wishes of the sick. However, in a hospice situation, it shouldn't be much of an issue.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:49 AM   #47
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Our society often allows us to be much more merciful to our pets than to our people.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:02 PM   #48
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I'm somewhat familiar with Vermont's death with dignity law and requirements... BIL is a doc and I recall us discussing it when it was enacted. The requirements are strict, as they should be, and there are a number of hoops that a patient needs to jump through before receiving a perscription for medication.

http://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/d.../Act39_faq.pdf

In the first 4 years, roughly 7-8 people a year took advantage of the new law... a number of others died from the underlying causes .

https://legislature.vermont.gov/asse...t-12-14-17.pdf
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:38 AM   #49
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When my mom was in SNF they had a Dr who would prescribe whatever they thought was 'good' even though they never came by to see her... it started with her visit to the hospital and that Dr who never was around to talk to (and all the nurses said she did it to them also) changed a bunch of my mom's med to meds she like better... then SNF doc changed a few more... they left her in bed to rot... but getting the $289 per day plus rehab fees... my sister (and RN) said it is a well known racket in Texas and there is nothing that you can do as they will ignore you requests and do as they want...
From the OP's post I'm guessing dad never designated an advanced directive for health care.

I.e., there's no health care agent with the final legal authority to make medical decisions.

So if Dad develops something that could be cured, they still send him to the hospital...

The way our local Hospice solved the quoted dilemma was to have Hospice put as primary medical, so in my case we're not using a facility's doctor, but Hospice instead.

Plus my loved one does have a health care power of attorney with myself named as health care agent, so if they can't express their wishes I do have the final say as to what medications or other medical treatments they receive.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:17 AM   #50
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From the OP's post I'm guessing dad never designated an advanced directive for health care.

I.e., there's no health care agent with the final legal authority to make medical decisions.

So if Dad develops something that could be cured, they still send him to the hospital...

The way our local Hospice solved the quoted dilemma was to have Hospice put as primary medical, so in my case we're not using a facility's doctor, but Hospice instead.

Plus my loved one does have a health care power of attorney with myself named as health care agent, so if they can't express their wishes I do have the final say as to what medications or other medical treatments they receive.
That would be false, my parents have had advanced medical directives documented since 2002 and provided us hard copies, and they reinforced that many, many times in "family meetings." My sister and I both have POA and MPOA, documented since 2002. In my Dad's case, my sister shared his wishes with documentation with everyone involved. But with so many involved between EMT's, ER's, hospital, Dad's personal GP, AL, SNF, and hospice - people kept violating my Dad's directions and prolonging his pain, even when he told them himself early on. Later on he wasn't able to tell them. My sister caught dozens of mistakes, some very serious, and bad decisions by well meaning but uninformed HC professionals but she couldn't be there 24/7 (though she tried).

My Dad passed away Sun night, ultimately he had to decline food and water and take morphine and other meds throughout, and my sister had to be there or on call 24/7 to enforce his wishes. IMO, he/sister shouldn't have had to resort to such drastic measures. In the end, it was beyond difficult/impossible for us to honor our Dad's specific directions. We're sad, and relieved for his sake.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:19 AM   #51
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Midpack, condolences for the loss of your father.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:25 AM   #52
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Sorry for your loss.
It's apparently pretty common. My dad had a well documented advance directive that was repeatedly ignored by arrogant doctors, even when both he and I confronted them face to face. "My job is to do everything I can to keep him alive, and I don't care about your piece of paper".

OTOH, my mom's wishes were followed and she had a better time of it, thanks to a compassionate doctor.

So it all seems to come down to the medical care provider to do the right thing (or not).
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:29 AM   #53
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Sorry for your loss.
It's apparently pretty common. My dad had a well documented advance directive that was repeatedly ignored by arrogant doctors, even when both he and I confronted them face to face. "My job is to do everything I can to keep him alive, and I don't care about your piece of paper".

OTOH, my mom's wishes were followed and she had a better time of it, thanks to a compassionate doctor.

So it all seems to come down to the medical care provider to do the right thing (or not).
I would only add that we never realized there would be so many organizations involved (GP, EMT's, ER, hospital, AL, SNF, hospice) multiplied by all their personal (some rotating through, who saw my Dad once) made it overwhelming for sister (mostly) to manage. We never realized the chaos we/she encountered over the past 3 months.

To those of you who think having an attorney prepared advanced health care directive, MPOA, etc. documented and communicated to all family members will ensure your wishes will be honored - you may be surprised, at a time when you're least able to speak for yourself. Our Dad went through almost 3 months of suffering that he had long sought to avoid, and for the most part we couldn't stop it.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:37 AM   #54
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Very sorry for your loss, and mostly that the situation was made more difficult than it had to be.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, I've been avoiding reviewing the paperwork I had done for us about 20 years ago, maybe this will be the kick I need to review/update it.

-ERD50
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:38 AM   #55
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Very sorry for your loss, and mostly that the situation was made more difficult than it had to be.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, I've been avoiding reviewing the paperwork I had done for us about 20 years ago, maybe this will be the kick I need to review/update it.

-ERD50
You and me both, thanks to all. And I'm becoming involved in DWD legislation in my state(s) through https://www.deathwithdignity.org/
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:20 AM   #56
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While I'm sensitive to you and others situations I will have to be the outlier here. While I do agree with withholding medical care at a patient or families request (when the patient is not able to make that informed decision) the act of assisted suicide or whatever term you decide to call it goes against how I've tried to live my life. Whether you call it religion or love of life I feel it is wrong for someone to take their life.
Again I'm not against withholding medical care or even sustenance in the case of someone who is at the end of their life. But the problem becomes how to write legislation that will protect everyone.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:26 AM   #57
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ĒMy job is to do everything I can to keep him alive, and I don't care about your piece of paper".

At which point the doctor would need a doctor...
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:44 AM   #58
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While I'm sensitive to you and others situations I will have to be the outlier here. While I do agree with withholding medical care at a patient or families request (when the patient is not able to make that informed decision) the act of assisted suicide or whatever term you decide to call it goes against how I've tried to live my life. Whether you call it religion or love of life I feel it is wrong for someone to take their life.
Again I'm not against withholding medical care or even sustenance in the case of someone who is at the end of their life. But the problem becomes how to write legislation that will protect everyone.
I have no problem with those who would NOT choose DWD for themselves, but I don't understand why they should be allowed to speak for everyone else.

It's not easy, but 5-6 states and several countries have enacted DWD laws. I'm not sure why your beliefs should govern the decisions for others, and no one is suggesting a law that would encourage anyone to act against their own beliefs. While the absence of DWD laws does prevent someone from being coerced into assisted suicide (what you're concerned about I gather), it's at the expense of terminal citizens who don't have the right to voluntarily end their years with dignity as they see fit. It's not as if there aren't downsides to either. It's not as if outlawing DWD doesn't have a downside as well.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:54 AM   #59
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I'm very sorry for your loss. Your DF shouldn't have had to suffer like that.

I'm for DWD. Actually I believe we do depressed people a great disservice in our country. The typical effect of trying to explain how depressed one is often results in involuntary committment. Or people disguise their symptoms. Seen it too many times, lost too many friends who no one knew were very, very ill.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:58 AM   #60
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....My dad had a well documented advance directive that was repeatedly ignored by arrogant doctors, even when both he and I confronted them face to face. "My job is to do everything I can to keep him alive, and I don't care about your piece of paper". ..
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At which point the doctor would need a doctor...
Perhaps some of these doctors like the one that braumeister encounteres need a refresher course in "Do no harm"... in the real world do no harm might sometimes mean doing nothing to prolong life and just assertive pain management.

Midpack... sorry for your loss and what your Dad, you and your family had to go through.. it isn't right.
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