Ok...with 15 years in my pocket I have to tell you that someone is going to give the last dose
. I always explain this to home caregivers. The guilt can be horrific.
Number 1...the MD does NOT, I repeat NOT order a LETHAL dose. Get it, know it, repeat after me....the MD does not order a LETHAL dose. So, you could not give a lethal dose.
The key to palliative management of symptoms dictates that you give medication at the lowest effective dose and watch for symptoms. If you are using morphine remember to watch for toxicity, and alert the MD if that occurs. New folks sometimes forget this can happen.
You are working wtih an terminal patient in the active dying phase. You did not hasten death because it is NOT a LETHAL dose. What you did was honor their WISHES to have a comfortable passing. You made them comfortable, they were already dying.
Take a moment and actually read the informed consent for hospice care. It generally states that the patient is CHOOSING to have their symptoms managed and to be comfortable
. To not do that is to not honor their wishes and would be the same as allowing them to die a painful death.
If I were a family member and my loved died with
pain after I contracted with you to relieve pain, I would all kinds of angry. But that's just me
So...I hope that helped...remember the MD does not order a lethal dose, so you did not give a lethal dose. Hang in there, sister.
"Everything I have learned in life is from those who have no life left"