Quote from morte
i dont have a problem with the med, the freq seems a little high....but the order was for euthanasia...."give untill resperations stop"....and it was a verbal order, unhu not this nurse.....doc can do that one him/her self....
it is euthanasia.
as for the dying process itself, it's truly non-invasive, painless and peaceful.
how one (physically) dies is all going to depend on the pathophysiology presented.
and, there are definitive ways to assess for pain/distress/anxiety.
if a pt is demonstrating air hunger, we aggressively treat w/meds.
furthermore, we aggressively treat and maintain regimens until we are 100% satisfied that pt is dying w/o pain.
it's all about intent.
when you administer morphine to abate suffering (aeb specific s/s), then it is ethically and legally acceptable.
but when you start administering a drug to appease the family's anxieties, then intent is misplaced and therefore, inappropriate.
we are there to support the pt's dying process first and foremost...
once we start giving outrageous dosages with frequencies that would kill an elephant, then there are definte legal and ethical boundaries to consider.
with that said, yes, i know of many nurses that still administer unnecessary dosages per md orders...per family requests.
i don't and won't.
if i know my pts are comfortable, then i educate the families as to how distress presents itself, and empathize with their fears, anxieties.
i explain the dying process, give permission to leave or whatever they need to do.
but as a longtime hospice nurse, i have never, nor ever will administer meds to placate the family or anyone other than the pt.
pts are my first priority, and i will care for them passionately yet legally and ethically.
it's the only way i could sleep at noc.