Quote from GoLytely
They call it "comfort measures" but it is really euthanasia. They start in with the morphine and keep giving a little more and a little more and a little more. I don't think this is wrong and I hope I'm treated so mercifully, I just wish we could call it what it really is.
Sorry, I have to strongly disagree with you. My mother was dying from various intercrainal hemorrages. I signed DNR paperwork which included a Morphine drip after I made her "comfort care". While my mother wasn't concious, no one was sure if she was having pain or not. I suspect brain herniation is painful, don't you? Anyhow, she was kept on Morpine, we had no way of knowing if it was helping. I judged by the only parameter I had, her vital signs. If her HR became elevated and her resp rate increased, we would up the morphine, and her HR and Resp rate would normalize. Was this "normalization" the result of the Morphine or the result she was more comfortable???? No one can say. We upped that drip for 3 days before she passed. By the time she passed away, she was tolerating quite easily 64mg Morphine/hour. We were told that in their Neuro ICU, having someone on a Morphine gtt above 100mg/hr wasn't unusual.
Since you weren't there, you'll have to take my work for it, increasing Mom's morphine absolutely did NOT speed up her dying. It dragged on for 4 days.
Comfort care is NOT euthanesia. It's the way we should care for our dying so they can be as comfortable and dignified as they can be. If we can't change the outcome, we should make the process of dying as minimally stressful as possible for the patient AND their family.