The Patient I Failed - page 8

by nerdtonurse? 374,172 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. 1
    I agree, Beautifully written I was also reduced to tears.
    nerdtonurse? likes this.
  2. 4
    Very nicely done.

    But was this not a case of assault?

    It is, indeed, tragic and pathetic that these doctors hadn't the courage to treat the patient and her legally sound wishes--their primary duty--rather than the wishes of the daughter.
  3. 5
    I promised myself after that pt's death was that I'd find some way to a) deal with the anguish and guilt I felt, and b) try to keep it from happening to someone else. Since over 7300 people *OMG* have read this, maybe I've done a little something toward that.

    Again, thanks so much everyone for reading.
  4. 2
    sweet heart you did not fail her. her children did her doctor did but you served her in dignity. And as much as it breaks your heart that we are not listening to her requests that are written down in a legal form, they can be overridden by a well meaning family member. It is unfortunate That this happens all the time.
    my mother has sat down with all 7 of us, the only dissident to her wishes is my one sister who believes that mom should be hooked up to everything, only my brother and I are listed as power of attorney, he lives with her and I am to advise him with my knowledge, this was agreed upon by everyone but my one sister who is angry because, we fail to see her religious views, about the sanctity of life. we told her if she dared to fight us on mom's wishes We'd make her life a living hell.
    Unfortunately I know first hand how hard it can be to rescind these orders once they are initiated. my oldest daughter had sids her monitor failed. I was in a hospital in another state trying to get the pregnancy I was carrying to term and she was with her dad and his mom. the baby was put on the respirator and other equipment, but was brain dead, and in organ failure, when we went to turn off the equipment the right to lifers came in with my mother in law to fight us. She stated We do not do this in our family. I reminded her both her son and i had thought about this and it was a extremely hard decision to come to but Holly would never come out of this. Holly died 4 days later while we fought in court.
    I thank God the local media chose to leave it a private matter and we were not made a public specitical. i think part of that was the fact i was 6 months pregnant and eclamptic. and the Judge told the right to life attorney. that his group was looking to save one child who would have no quality of life and kill another because of the undue stress they were putting already grieving parent through. our relationship with his mother never healed and was always very strained.
    I think I'm having dnr tattooed on my chest like one of my residents did so there is no question as to what he wants he wants no infighting from the ambulance crew about weather it is a state form or just a legal form.
    twinkletoes53 and nerdtonurse? like this.
  5. 1
    So beautifully written. I see this all too often. It just breaks my heart.
    nerdtonurse? likes this.
  6. 1
    Beautiful and poignant. I am giving this to give to our Staff Development nurse when she reviews Advanced Directives training. Too bad, the families cant see it as well. Thank you for putting your experience in words so that it may help another.
    nerdtonurse? likes this.
  7. 2
    wow... now i know what to do in this situation. or what I THINK i would do, IF this situation was to ever happen to me. I would go to the nursing super WITH other nurses by my side to see if that could help.

    Thank you so much for writting such a beautiful, helpful article. You have turned someone's SCAR into a STAR for MANY nurses.

    Look at ALL THE THANK YOUS!?!?!? That woman's passage may have made it so others who want the same may have that chance through better educated and understanding nurses because we read your article!

    Maybe this was how it was SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN! Her hubby and herself may have saved several others from this terrible passage into the next realm by they themselves suffering the outcome...

    Of course, who in the heck am I to say how anything is SUPPOSED to happen! I wasnt the nurse whose heart broke! I was just trying to find the reason for yours, hers, and subsequently our, heartbreak.
    june42 and nerdtonurse? like this.
  8. 1
    What a touching story. Thank you for sharing.
    nerdtonurse? likes this.
  9. 3
    Epiphany..............The respect and compassion you gave her while she was in your care is what makes you the great nurse that you are. There is no failure in that.
  10. 1
    A try heart-wrenching story that so many of us have had to witness.

    Thank you for having the voice to say so eloquently what we would have a hard time putting into words. You are truly a gifted writer and a compassionate and caring nurse.
    nerdtonurse? likes this.


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