This is sick - page 6

I'm watching an OLD episode of Chicago Hope on Discovery Health channel. This episode, a doctor went to court to try and have a morphine drip increased for a patient in a vegitative state up to a... Read More

  1. by   tmiller027
    Quote from BRANDY LPN
    I just want to point out that we DO let babies die at times. if you have a non viable baby born you do let that child die without intubating ect ect. to do anything but would be cruel. But the general public may not appreciate that the same way we as nurses do.
    what do you mean by non-viable?
  2. by   fergus51
    Non-viable means that they have no chance of surviving. For instance, a 20 week fetus is non-viable because our technology isn't enough to save them.
  3. by   tmiller027
    Quote from fergus51
    Non-viable means that they have no chance of surviving. For instance, a 20 week fetus is non-viable because our technology isn't enough to save them.
    Oh okay. Well, letting nature run its course on a child or anyone who cannot be saved isn't my concern. Its just the stuff like in that article mentioned about retarded babies or something.
  4. by   BRANDY LPN
    My point was like a anacephalic baby or a 20 weeker, the general public may not really get the difference and certainly not an idiot like Falwell.
  5. by   fergus51
    Amen to that Brandy!!!
  6. by   LilRedRN1973
    As a granddaughter who watched her nana die from metastatic bone cancer (her spine was riddled with CA), I have to say I'm not completely against euthanasia. The problem is there is a fine line there and one that is hard to define. When my nana knew she wasn't going to get better (after being diagnosed with lung cancer and finding out it had metastisized into her bones), she asked my mother to bring her all her pain medication so she could swallow them all and end it before the pain got so bad she couldn't handle it. She told my mom that she would do it all and that my mom didn't even have to be there, just to set the bottles by her bed. My mom couldn't do it and refused.

    3 months later, my nana was in such extreme pain, she was taking the max dosage of morphine and other painkillers she could without compromising her respiratory status. We had her on hospice for the last few months of her life and the nurse was terrific. But it didn't help the pain my nana was feeling. I remember the day before I left for college, I sat on the side of the bed, held her hand, and told her I was leaving for school. For the past month or so, she didn't really show any signs of recognition and never really spoke. Her eyes would follow you around the room, but that was about it. That day I held her hand and told her I loved her and I had to leave the next morning, she smiled at me and said something that sounded much like "I love you".

    She died the next day. I watched her suffer so much in those last few months and even my mom agreed that she wished she had done what her mother wanted her to. She told me if she had known it was going to get that bad, she would have happily given the pills to her and let her end things before they got so bad. That being said, I think very highly of hospice nursing and wish I could handle that area of nursing. My other grandmother died from lung cancer as well and she was with hospice as well. I have had wonderful experiences from those nurses and admire anyone who can do that type of nursing.

    Just wanted to share my feelings....working in the ICU, I see so many fruitless attempts at prolonging someone life (like the one patient we had who was 17 and had an ICP of 120.....yes, that's right, 120, and the parents still wanted the docs to do something). He herniated sometime later that night and the parents chose to blame the nursing staff and the docs, saying that if they had insurance, we would have saved his life.

    I've watched a code run for almost an hour with the wife standing by, screaming for us to keep doing what we were doing. Her husband survived the code, but after being anoxic for that long, suffered great irreversible brain damage and they took him off support later that week. There are so many cases of families wanting their loved ones wanting to be saved, no matter what. It's been an eye-opening experience because as a nurse (ok, soon to be nurse), I want to scream what my head knows, but as a wife, mother, and daughter, I can understand where these people are coming from. If that were my husband laying there, it would be hard for me to pull up my "nurse" identity and tell them to let him go. Sigh....definitely a tough subject and one that I suspect I will never completely come to terms with.

    Melanie
  7. by   Luciole
    Quote from Gompers
    Right. When my grandmother was dying of metastatic pancreatic cancer, she was on a morphine drip with bolus doses if she needed them (PRN per nursing, not PCA pump). She was at max doses and still moaning in pain, especially when they handled her. So the docs sat down with my dad (POA) and said they could increase the dosage as much as needed to make her comfortable, but that the risks might include respiratory compromise. It's not like they just gave her a huge bolus - they increased the dose until she could sleep peacefully and not moan in pain when they moved her. Whether that got to her or the cancer, who knows. All we know is that she was comfortable.
    I am still at the "nursing-student-to-be" moment in my life so I am not well-versed in the actual terminology etc. of these situations. That being said, I believe my grandfather went through a similar experience to Gompers' grandmother. I was only 17 at the time, so I really had no strong say in his care or anything like that. All I recall is that he became very, very ill over a few months. He finally came to the point where he was hospitalized and there was little, if any, chance that he would ever return to his normal home life.

    This affected my grandfather horribly. He was a strong, independent man and seemed reduced to feelings of worthlessness... lying there in the hospital bed. He was in a lot of pain, and told me flat-out when I came to visit that he wished suicide was legal and he could just die. I felt so horrible for him, and so helpless.

    During this time my grandfather was being highly medicated. He also had some sort of "clicker" that he could hit when he wanted a dose of pain medication. The doctors discussed this with the family and it was agreed upon that he would have, as far as I understood it, unlimited control of this self-medicating clicker despite the fact that in his condition the high dosages would most likely bring forth his death. He died days after being given this regiment.

    When I saw this thread I had to reply, because this topic really touches home with me. My grandfather was suffering and did NOT want to live anymore and the family was suffering by seeing him suffer... to this day I am extremely thankful that the doctors discussed this with my grandfather and the family and gave us an option to ease his pain. I can not express the amount of gratitude our family had for the way the doctors handled my grandfather's care.

    I agree that life should be supported and prolonged when recovery is possible or when the affected individual wishes it so. But when someone you love is dying (point-blank dying, not going to recover), and in pain, and begging for it to end... I just can't understand how allowing full access to an eventual over-dose is unacceptable.
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from chatsdale
    there is a suit up before the supreme court about oregon's assisted suicide law...why it is legal in oregon and dr keforkian is in jail is something i can't say
    i would not want to linger in pain...i would not want my kids to have to make that choice which could haunt them for the rest of their lives of whether they had made the right choice or not
    i end of the road and they wanted their loved one to be in some degree of comfort
    my problem with that oregon law is that it's euthanasia. this "assisted suicide" is for the birds! if you're terminally ill and you'd like to be put out of your misery, i can understand that. and if you can hoard your pain meds or sleeping pills or whatever to take a fatal dose, more power to you! that's suicide. my church tells me it's a sin, but maybe yours doesn't.

    i draw the line at involving someone else who will then have to live with that choice for the rest of their lives. the minute someone else is involved, it's no longer suicide. furthermore, if the law is subsequently changed, there is talk of going back and suing all the health care professionals who participated in euthanasia ("assisted suicide.")
  9. by   tmiller027
    Quote from ruby vee
    my problem with that oregon law is that it's euthanasia. this "assisted suicide" is for the birds! if you're terminally ill and you'd like to be put out of your misery, i can understand that. and if you can hoard your pain meds or sleeping pills or whatever to take a fatal dose, more power to you! that's suicide. my church tells me it's a sin, but maybe yours doesn't.

    i draw the line at involving someone else who will then have to live with that choice for the rest of their lives. the minute someone else is involved, it's no longer suicide. furthermore, if the law is subsequently changed, there is talk of going back and suing all the health care professionals who participated in euthanasia ("assisted suicide.")

    i attended a seminar on this stuff a few years ago. assisted suicide is a doctor or someone providing a fatal dose, but the patient adminstering it themselves. euthanasia is the dr himself adminstering the fatal dose, though they sound pretty much the same to me.

    one interesting point one psychologist brought up who'd done a study on it said that most of the terminal patients he'd interviewed stated that their wish to die was more influenced by a. the feeling that their families wanted them dead sooner (financial reasons, etc) and b. depression.

    not that its not normal to be depressed, but hte point he was getting at was, by legalizing this, theres too much propensity for abuse. people shouldn't be euthanized becuase junior wants mom to die before his inheritance is spent.
  10. by   DDANN
    Quote from tmiller027
    I'm watching an OLD episode of Chicago Hope on Discovery Health channel. This episode, a doctor went to court to try and have a morphine drip increased for a patient in a vegitative state up to a fatal dose.

    What I found disturbing was one...at one point, the doctor ordered a nurse to adminster it, and she refused. He then proceded to scream and yell at her. Her nurse supervisor told her "Don't you see what you've done? This is done in silence all the time, but now its on the record!"

    The doctors said the same thing, how euthanaisa goes on every day in the U.S. with a "wink" between Dr's and families. Has anyone ever heard of this? I'm almost halfway through an ADN program, have worked a year as a CNA and know lots of doctors and nurses and have never heard of this. I just found it highly disturbing. I don't like to see people suffer, but I also don't like to see doctors playing God either.
    That is just a television drama--I worked in ICU/CCU for many years and never ran in to anthing like that--you need to separate tv from reality--
  11. by   tmiller027
    Quote from DDANN
    That is just a television drama--I worked in ICU/CCU for many years and never ran in to anthing like that--you need to separate tv from reality--

    You know, there isn't any need for sarcasm or rudness, it was a question. Did you read all of my post and any of posts after? I'm quite aware of the differences in TV and reality.
  12. by   laughing weasel
    Some people are not able to give themselves the medicines that would ease their passage. I agree that there is the potential for abuse and that euthanasia must be carefully monitored both for the patient and for the administrator's sake. I do not like it when any one interferes with another's choices. If there are people who are willing to perform these services for those who cannot then as long as it is a consenting adult they should be allowed to make any mistaken that does not harm another.
  13. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    There is a suit up before the supreme court about oregon's assisted suicide law...why it is legal in oregon and dr keforkian is in jail is something i can't say
    Because what Kervorkian did is not legal in Oregon.

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