When care equals Torture

  1. 19
    I thought this article did a good job of describing what many of us in healthcare deal with on a regular basis.

    "At a certain stage of life, aggressive medical treatment can become sanctioned torture. "

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...R_story_1.html

    A similar article by the same author:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...010902298.html
    aznurse1, GrnTea, Esme12, and 16 others like this.
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  3. 32 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Excellent columns, both of them.
    annmariern likes this.
  5. 13
    I cannot "like" this enough!!

    The public needs to hear this, and it isn't a pleasant discussion.

    Maryland is in the process of instituting the MOLST form, which will combine the advanced directive with the EMS DNR form. All the information will be in black and white for all chronically cared for patients (nursing home, assisted living, home care, etc.) and a permanent part of the medical record. It is finally forcing the PCP's to bring the subject up. As a result, I am seeing many more DNR/DNI's come through our unit.

    I have sat through family meetings where the family states they want everything done to save their 95 year old fraile grandmother, but once we explain exactly what CPR and intubation means, they quickly change their minds. Recusitation isn't what's on TV, and that is all the public can relate to.
    Woodenpug, imintrouble, GrnTea, and 10 others like this.
  6. 3
    We need to plaster these articles in every hospital room across the country. Thanks for sharing.

    BTW, I love your profile picture, MunoRN. "Cannonball comin'!!!!"
    lindarn, leslie :-D, and nrsang97 like this.
  7. 1
    Interesting - basically the same point that that I tried to make here on my very first post (tried to give an "attagirl" to the nurse who had to stand by and do nothing, and give kudos to the families that walked this particular fire) but got my a$$ reamed by one of the local know-it-alls for it.

    Tip of the hat to you all - hypocrites.


    ----- Dave
    lindarn likes this.
  8. 4
    Quote from IEDave
    Interesting - basically the same point that that I tried to make here on my very first post (tried to give an "attagirl" to the nurse who had to stand by and do nothing, and give kudos to the families that walked this particular fire) but got my a$$ reamed by one of the local know-it-alls for it.

    Tip of the hat to you all - hypocrites.


    ----- Dave
    Sorry about your first-post-experience Dave. From what I saw you got 13 Kudos and even a re-post, the mother of all kudos. If your post was 'reamed' that's unfortunate and didn't appear to reflect the majority of AN.
    LPNnowRN, Esme12, annmariern, and 1 other like this.
  9. 16
    Quote from bds165
    We need to plaster these articles in every hospital room across the country.
    these cruel and inappropriate "full codes", have always been the bane of my professional existence.
    they truly are a form of torture for those who are ready to die.
    family members/poa's/physicians don't keep these folks alive because we all know that "life is precious".
    they/we keep them alive because WE (we we we we WE) are the ones who fear dying, not the suffering pt.
    i've seen so much projecting from those who personally struggle with death and dying...
    whether it is guilt or fear, these decisions are never/seldom made for the benefit and well being (and wishes!) of the pt.
    we treat others as we would expect to be treated - and if our families really loved us, they would continue fighting for our lives...right? :-|

    just a couple of days ago, i told both my husband and son, that in event i ever am deemed incompetent to make decisions for myself, that i am considering asking my son to be my mpoa...
    as he would honor my wishes, where i fear my husband would do everything humanly possible to 'fight for me'.
    our (western) society does everything to avoid death.
    even when our loved one is terminal and suffering, we convince ourselves that our decisions (to extend life) are altruistic and noble.
    we delude ourselves and ea other, when we insist on every available intervention to sustain their 'precious' lives.
    the greatest gift we could give our (dying) loved ones, is to concede death as the precious gift...
    enabling our loved one to die with 'merit and majesty', by acknowledging this necessary journey when it is our time to die.

    acknowledging and celebrating one's life, including its beginning...and its end...is the greatest gift of all.
    it is selfless, it is truthful, it is compassionate, it is love.
    dying shouldn't have to be considered torturous, and it is within our abilities to change.
    in doing so, we give peace to the dying, and to ourselves...
    as it should be.

    leslie
    Woodenpug, Scarlette Wings, KT17, and 13 others like this.
  10. 10
    Quote from EMSnut45
    I cannot "like" this enough!!

    The public needs to hear this, and it isn't a pleasant discussion.

    Maryland is in the process of instituting the MOLST form, which will combine the advanced directive with the EMS DNR form. All the information will be in black and white for all chronically cared for patients (nursing home, assisted living, home care, etc.) and a permanent part of the medical record. It is finally forcing the PCP's to bring the subject up. As a result, I am seeing many more DNR/DNI's come through our unit.

    I have sat through family meetings where the family states they want everything done to save their 95 year old fraile grandmother, but once we explain exactly what CPR and intubation means, they quickly change their minds. Recusitation isn't what's on TV, and that is all the public can relate to.
    We have POLST forms in my state but I still find it underused. Reimbursing MD's for having this discussion, which in some cases can easily last an hour, would be a good step in helping encourage these conversations to happen. An attempt was made to do just that but it was termed "death panels" and has since been removed the affordable care act.

    As a side note, it looks like I've already been relegated to the relative wasteland of "Nursing News". Is it just me or have threads been moved out of the General Nursing Discussion really quick lately. It would be nice to be allowed a spot in the General Nursing Discussion for more than just a few hours before it gets essentially filed away.
    canoehead, Esme12, GrnTea, and 7 others like this.
  11. 3
    I got lucky - - my dad didn't want a feeding tube, he just wasn't hungry and wouldn't eat. He just wanted to be free from pain. We started him on morphine on Wednesday, Thursday he was unresponsive, Friday he was gone. Mom died in her sleep, a little unexpectedly, but not completely. No decisions.

    These decisions are so hard on the family. So hard.
    LPNnowRN, imintrouble, and lindarn like this.
  12. 2
    Thank you for sharing.
    imintrouble and lindarn like this.


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