The Patient I Failed - page 32

by nerdtonurse? 374,294 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. 0
    This is such a sad story and more common then you think. You did the best you could given the situation. When patients have a DNR the physician needs to take a more proactive role and as the nurse we need to constantly teach and reinforce. For whatever the reason this daughter had some deep seeded guilt. Her other siblings also needed to support the mothers wishes. Many times its in the delivery of the message.
  2. 0
    Where were the other children that that one lone voice was so much louder? I don't have too much of an issue with her (the one dissenting voice). She may have truly believed that something could be done. But the other five? Where were they? Where are they? The other five that agreed with what their mother wanted....

    "Bad things happen when good people stand by and do nothing". Shame on the other five children who knew and agreed with their mother for the things that she wanted. They failed her, no one else. Not her doctor, not her nurses. Not even the one who lied and told the EMTs her mother was a "full code". But the other five that agreed with their mother, with what she wanted. Unless of course, they really didn't and were only humoring her.

    What a sad situation. "Forgive them for they know not what they do".
  3. 1
    Thank you... this article sums up my feelings. One of the main reasons why I've left ICU & moved to Emerge.
    Emergent likes this.
  4. 0
    been there in that situation but you presented it very well.. congratulations!
  5. 0
    I know this was posted 5 years ago, but I happened upon it while reading about the 2013 story contest. That being said, WOW! What a beautiful, well-written, powerful, (I could go on forever) heartfelt story! It actually brought tears to my eyes! I love how you added the bits of the living will along with what was actually occurring. KUDOS TO YOU!
    Oh, and by the way, you, in NO shape or form, failed this patient. Her daughter, who I'm sure was grief-stricken and distraught and a little bit selfish, did.
    Two thumbs up!
  6. 0
    Very moving story, anyone who has worked in that setting can relate to this heart wrenching situation.
  7. 0
    I just saw something similar as a student, I was so saddened by this and even more upset because I use to help people write their living wills and at the time didn't realize they weren't followed

    Thank you for caring for her so tenderly
  8. 0
    This is so sad, but drives the point across very strongly.
  9. 0
    I am bawling. *sob*
  10. 0
    Sad situation. Could Ethics have been brought in?


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