ANA Issues Statement on Schiavo Case - page 8

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has released a statement on the case of Terri Schiavo, the 41-year-old brain-damaged Florida woman who died March 31, which was almost 2 weeks after the removal... Read More

  1. by   gwenith
    There was a film made called "They shoot horses don't they?" back in the sixties/seventies. It called to question our ability to give peaceful death to our animals but withhold it from our loved ones. The underlying question it raised is still valid today.

    I read a research article (wish I could remember where I put it) that stated that 1:5 Americans die in ICU. That is not 1:5 patients in ICU die that is one out of 5 American deaths occur in ICU. Given the horrendous cost (in terms of money time effort) that 1 ICU patient requires this has to be questioned and soon. No country can afford to keep it's entire population on life support indefinitely.


    Perhaps though, Terri did what she was sent here to do. If you truly believe that each of us has a task on this earth then she achieved hers. She forced us to confront where we are heading with our ability to delay death. She forced us to re-evaluate what life means to each of us and she showed us the choices that lay ahead.

    Who is to say that THIS was not what her task was here on earth.
    Last edit by gwenith on Apr 15, '05 : Reason: dythleckthia
  2. by   begalli
    My mom was told today, by an LPN at a ltc center that my grandmother is a resident of, not to let hospice "do to your mother what they did to Terri Shiavo." This poor excuse for an LPN also told my mom to watch out for the hospice nurse giving my grandmother "an IV drug called _____ (I've never heard of it) because it slows the respiratory drive." My grandmother doesn't and will not have an IV unless it's for comfort meds later on. This LPN asked my mom "why did you go and get hospice involved?" "I thought you wanted to get your mother well and take her home with you?" This LPN claims to have been a hospice nurse in the past. SO of course what she was saying scared my mom who knows next to nothing about what hospice does.

    Talk about making my mom's head spin and totally making her question the choices that she and her mother TOGETHER have made.

    I'm absolutely SHOCKED and completely disgusted with this nurse's comments to my mom. We employed hospice because grandma doesn't want to be poked and prodded anymore. Today was the first day with the hospice RN. My grandmother is in kidney failure and afib with a rapid ventricular response at times up to 180. When she has this non-sustained afib her blood pressure does not tolerate it and her systolic drops to about 60. It's a touchy situation. She DOES NOT want hospitalization. She's already dehydrating (she'd definitely be in CHF if she wasn't already dehydrated), has mouth sores (a hospice goal to address), no appetite, and is very weak.

    She's old and her body is wearing down now. She has bleeding ulcers and multiple health problems. Her husband of 68 years died in December. She's ready to go join him and looks forward to it and jokes about never having died before, she doesn't quite know what to do.

    Today, she held up her hands motioning my mom to look at her fingernails. She said "look how pretty!"

    The hospice nurse gave her a manicure and painted her fingernails a pale pink as they chit-chatted and got to know each other this afternoon. This warms my heart.

    I'm not sure what to do about this LPN. She looks after my grandmother when hospice and my mom is not there. To me, what she said to my mom was totally and completely unethical. I'd love to have a chat with her but I'd also love to report her nonsense to the ethics department of the ltc.

    After the conversation with this LPN my mom sought out another nurse who she has come to trust. The other nurse assured my mom that she's doing the right thing.

    What a lousy mess because of one person's personal ignorant view of hospice. It makes me sick.
    Last edit by begalli on Apr 15, '05
  3. by   sbic56
    Quote from gwenith
    There was a film made called "They shoot horses don't they?" back in the sixties/seventies. It called to question our ability to give peaceful death to our animals but withhold it from our loved ones. The underlying question it raised is still valid today.

    I read a research article (wish I could remember where I put it) that stated that 1:5 Americans die in ICU. That is not 1:5 patients in ICU die that is one out of 5 American deaths occur in ICU. Given the horrendous cost (in terms of money time effort) that 1 ICU patient requires this has to be questioned and soon. No country can afford to keep it's entire population on life support indefinitely.


    Perhaps though, Terri did what she was sent here to do. If you truly believe that each of us has a task on this earth then she achieved hers. She forced us to confront where we are heading with our ability to delay death. She forced us to re-evaluate what life means to each of us and she showed us the choices that lay ahead.

    Who is to say that THIS was not what was not her task here on earth.
    Wow...thanks for a bit of a different perspective. Great post!!
  4. by   RaggedyRN
    Quote from ValerieB
    :smackingf
    I also agree with the ANA's position. If you don't agree, maybe nursing isn't for you and being a lawyer is.
    OUCH!

    CHICKEY
  5. by   sbic56
    begalli

    That LPN is a menace. I'd report her before she does any more damage. Shesh.
  6. by   RaggedyRN
    Tweety.. is it not one thing to choose not to have one inserted from the get go (in our advance direcetive), but quite another to have one inserted for many years, and THEN just say "ok.. time's up! That's all you get.. it's over.. ALL GONE "

    I agree! It makes me think there should be a time limit for the anticipated therapies to work. If no success, then take out the tube. But, Terri had the tube for so long, it just seemed like murder to take it out. Michael did not help the case by having a second family while still trying to portray the loving husband. Can't have your cake and eat it too!

    CHICKEY
  7. by   Nurse Ratched
    Quote from sbic56
    begalli

    That LPN is a menace. I'd report her before she does any more damage. Shesh.
    Hearty second motion on that one.
  8. by   Jolie
    [QUOTE=earle58]that makes me sick to my stomach......28 weeker being aborted r/t cleft palate?????????? what IS the cut off for abortions anyway? that truly horrifies me that a mother would do that to her baby, and at such a late stage. :angryfire



    earle,

    There IS no cut off for abortions. A patient has the right to terminate a pregnancy at any time prior to birth, so long as she and her doctor state that it is "necessary for the health or well-being" of the mother.

    The mom of this 28 weeker with the cleft palate must have found a doctor willing to certify that the baby's defect placed the mother at risk for mental distress.

    I am not kidding. This happens far more often than most people realize, and it sickens me.
  9. by   Kabin
    Well said ANA, I agree wholeheartedly!
  10. by   Rhoresmith
    I just wish that Terri could have died peacefully and with dignity instead of having a video of her plastered on every station 10-20 times a day. I have real mixed feellings about this case, we heard so many horrilble things about what tx Michael would and would not allow but was any of it substantiated (sp)? I can't imagine any nurse letting her not have any care. I did just read (can't find where) that she never had a bed sore in 15 yrs and if her care was that terrible how could that be possible? So many questions on this. I do believe that President Bush and Congress should have stayed out of this.... the courts decided and that is where it should have been. Well that is my two cents for whatever it is worth. I think the ANA statement is what they had to say and I agree with it. I liked the AMA statement too!!! Lets make Terri's ordeal a lesson that many will hopefully listen to and act upon
    Last edit by Rhoresmith on Apr 15, '05
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from sbic56
    Perfection is not necessary. Tasteless labels asside, the issue here is quality of life and that each individual gets to decide what that is. I don't agree with the thinking that because someone who has been in a state like Schiavo is allowed to die that it means that babies with cleft palates and Down's babies will be "next". There is a clear and distinct division between these situations. The all or none mentality just is not reasonable here, IMO.

    (Hope your head feels better soon! )
    It is better . . . . thanks. Of course it is 4 a.m. and I'm at work - anything could happen.

    I think we are well past the idea that Terri Schiavo's case will cause a slippery slope . . .when babies TODAY are being aborted at 28 weeks because of a cleft palate and 80% of babies diagnosed in utero with Down's are aborted, I think we are already there.

    I have to say again that even though the subject is difficult, I've learned alot during this discussion and am grateful it has been for the most part very civil. I think we all recognize, as you said sbic, that this is not a black and white issue.

    Of course since becoming a nurse I've definitely tempered my opinions about people who believe in euthanasia . . . I've taken care of many cancer patients as they lay dying and I can't help thinking it would be nice to just be out of pain and on my way to heaven. I still don't agree with it and think nurses should have nothing to do with it. But I can see how appealing it might be. We have done a much better job of helping people in those situations though - our Hospice program and our nurses and docs are wonderful.

    Begalli - I think you need to sit down with that LPN and start out politely discussing this issue. She definitely needs some reeducation. And I'm sorry about your grandma and hope she experiences peace.

    steph
  12. by   Arlene46rn
    I don't think the ANA should have made a statement. We are not talking about someone who had a written living will and became recently in a "vegetative" state. We are talking about a woman who was in a vegetative state for 15 years and the decision was delayed for years to remove the tube. Meanwhile her parents who took care of her faithfully every day had no decision and her "husband" who already is involved and has children with another woman is left to make the decision. I think the parents had the right to make the decision. They gave her life and took care of her.
    This case has taught me to teach my children that if they have any doubt whatsoever about their "spouse", they need to make another close family member who has nothing to gain, the health care surrogate.
  13. by   sbic56
    We have done a much better job of helping people in those situations though - our Hospice program and our nurses and docs are wonderful.
    I am very impressed with the hospice philosophy. Dying is a natural process and what hospice does for the dying patient to prepare them for the best death possible is wonderful. What these professionals do for both the patient and their families is a gift. On those occasions when a terminal patient truly desires their death be hastened, despite what hospice has to offer, then I believe the option should be open to them.

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