Death & Dying Question

  1. Can anyone help me here? I work on a LTC floor. We have a resident who was diagnosed less than a year ago w/ CA of the spine and had been doing well up until the last week or so. The family wasn't so sure about hospice until today (late in the day). We have a hospice meeting set up for tomorrow. This resident's two children are of two different minds about what happens when a patient stops drinking/eating. One of them feels that it is "starvation" and that her dad will be suffering. We've tried to explain that this will not be the case. )His health care proxy states that he does not want artificial nutrition or hydration, so at least we already know what HIS wishes are)

    I would like to find some sort of written material - as fast as I can - to show to this daughter to help explain it to her and help her come to peace with her dad's decision. Does anyone know where I could get anything like that?......... tonight .............on the internet?!!!!


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    About ComicRN

    Joined: Apr '01; Posts: 97; Likes: 1
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   st4304
    I'm sorry I can't help you, as I am a cardiac nurse and have never ran into this problem. Do you have a dietician at your facility? Maybe he/she could help.

    Good luck!

  4. by   sunnygirl272
  5. by   cargal

    I happened to find this somewhere on and sent it to myself.
    Let me know if this helps, it is written by a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner.
  6. by   adrienurse
    I've got a really good textbook, with a chapter that I think will help. Kemp, C. (1995) Terminal Illness: A guide to nursing care. J.B. Lippincott Company.

    PM me your email address, and I will send you some pages.
  7. by   MollyJ
    Seems like AJN did an article on hydration and end of life care, with the gist being that there were times when it did not add to the scenario.

    The abstract:

    Zerwekh JV.
    Title: Do dying patients really need IV fluids?
    Source: AM J NURS 1997 Mar; 97(3): (Nurse Pract Extra Ed): 26-31 (9 ref)
    Abstract: In a landmark 1983 article, this hospice nurse questioned the practice of giving IV fluids to terminally ill patients. Since then, she reports, evidence has grown that in many cases, artificial hydration is misguided mercy that neither gives comfort nor prolongs life.

    CINAHL search using dehydration AND terminally ill patients found about 47 records, so it's in the lit.