We have all been there...a patient on a morphine drip just laying there waiting for their heart to stop...a family taking shifts, one leaves another stays so their loved one don't die alone....or the patient who is laying there, with no one there to wait with them for the end....
How many times have you been asked to "increase the morphine" on a care and comfort patient? Only to have to go on to explain that we can titrate it if we find the patient to be in any discomfort. I usually go onto explain, if the patient is moaning, grunting or such I can titrate the drip....within minutes the family is at the desk stating, "my mom/dad/loved one is moaning in pain can you increase the drip?".
You know, i know....but what to do? How to handle this situation? I can personally say, WHY EXTEND THE SUFFERING? WHY MAKE THESE FAMILY MEMBERS SIT AND WAIT FOR WHAT IS ULTIMATELY GOING TO HAPPEN ANYWAYS? I sometimes think to myself, this patient will never get up and walk, talk do anything ever again-- should I help them on their way to the "other side"? I have that ability to increase the morphine drip...but am I playing God? Am I committing the act of murder?? This is a very tough place to be in.
Personally, my dad was dying of metastatic colon cancer..he was diagnosed in June 2013, dies in December 2013. He asked me one thing, that I had the ability to do, don't let him suffer....and I DIDN'T. Was I playing God, Kavorkian? I tend not to think so. I was helping a loved one die peacefully, a loved one that had suffered for the last 6 months and was going to die whether or not I gave him an extra dose of dilaudid or ativan...a loved one that was there to take care of my scraped knee, to hold my hand when I had stitches put in my head...to give me away on my wedding day and dance the father-daughter dance....WAS HE ASKING TOO MUCH OF ME?? Are these family members asking too much of me??
Please tell me what you think.