The Patient I Failed - page 22

by nerdtonurse?

373,624 Views | 321 Comments

She knew what she wanted. She'd watched her husband of 52 years die on a vent, and followed his wishes to remain a full code. But she knew that was not what she wanted for herself. So, she wrote a Living Will, had it... Read More


  1. 2
    As a hospice nurse I find this same situation oh so true, but I also know that anyone can be a DNR! The daughter, the doctor, and the attorney all failed this pt. You did the right thing as a nurse, but it is heart breaking.
    siomai_siopao73 and DPowersRN like this.
  2. 0
    There are times when people are just so disappointing... But what can we do?
  3. 1
    Nicely written....I hate when this thing happens. I love that here we are starting to bring families in to see and listen to what happens during a code. I have had this discussion with my grown children several times and since they cannot let go I have lmade my brother POA. As a group my siblings and I decided that sense I am the only nurse I make our Mother;s decision if she can't. I love my Mother enough to let her go.
    Teresa Ann likes this.
  4. 0
    How eloquently written and moving. I cannot imagine having to deal with such a circumstance, for that you have my respect and admiration. It is nice to see that not all medical professionals are mechanical--I have encountered a disappointing number in my life. Though I am not in or likely to be in the nursing profession, I felt the need to let you know how moved I was by this post.
  5. 0
    oh wow. people act crazy in times of great stress, and that's made apparent by the daughter's actions. she allowed her own desires to cloud over her mother's own desires. so very sad! but i can understand how difficult it might be for a daughter to let a mother go. DNR is one thing with my patients, but if i came into my own mother's house and she were collapsed without a pulse/respirations on the floor, i would have a very difficult time not acting in some way to try to revive her. how sad for everyone! but most of all the mother who struggled and suffered through her last days.
  6. 0
    That is so beautiful and sad at the same time. You have managed in so few words to describe what we as nurses face on numerous occasions. Fighting with the family while the forget the one important person THE PATIENT!!!! The wishes are so often forgot and are treated like a thing. Like you it breaks my heart every time and I feel I have failed.

    Thank you for sharing your experience
  7. 0
    this story made me e-mail my mother and tell her that we need to sit down and fill out the necessary paper work to make sure that she doesn't end up like my residents. i'm going to make sure that she lives and dies the way she wants to. i can only be thankful that i'm an only child and i won't have anyone to fight with about this.
  8. 0
    Moving read. Well done.
  9. 0
    i know EXACTLY what this story is saying ~ i'm a transplant/surgical ICU nurse myself, and while BEING able to do things to help people stay alive, it's CRUEL and IMMORAL to do so, especially when the patient him/herself stated it in the living will. the daughter is a monster! & i've met many like her!
  10. 0
    My friend's patient has a tumor large enough in his neck that he has dysphagia, a PET scan has shown several "spots" on his lungs.He has end stage COPD. He is anemic and severely underweight. He is 76 years of age. The "team" has told him he needs to have an immediate tracheotomy and a peg tube.They also have advised radiation. No biopsies have been done. He has had a caratoid blockage and has two cardiac stents. I have spoke several times to his nurse who is a dear friend of mine asking her to address Hospice with this patient and his family. I foresee this man having alot of suffering ahead and a poor quality of life for the remainder of his life . The physicians of course will suggest all possible interventions as their first priority is to preserve a life. Life is not merely breathing (in his case the liklihood of a vent is very high) nor is life a chemically sustained heart beat. The patient did sign a DNR and I am concerned his 6 daughters will also convince him to forego this. If this were your loved one ,what would be your suggestions?


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