RN, Nurse Manager

  1. Ethical dilemma- I recently admitted a 98 year old man who two days after being admitted declined significantly. His family wanted everthing done to keep this man alive. I could see that he was tired and ready for his next journey. Two days after invsive treatments and tests in the hospital, he passed away. I felt that he could have had a peaceful and comfortable death in the nursing home. But unfortunately this did not happen due to family's feeling of guilt. I have dealt with several situations similiar to this :stone before but, it never gets easier. I feel helpless.
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    About shince

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 4


  3. by   canoehead
    I agree, it seems so stupid to aggressively treat a 98 year old who is ready to go. If you can't do just comfort measures, can you convince the doc to give lots and lots of good drugs during procedures? And make him a DNR so if he dies in spite of the interventions you can let him go?

    I think we've all been in your position.
  4. by   Tweety
    It seems to be getting worse and not better. Familes seem to think that if they don't treat agressively they are killing their loved one. We're dealing with that right now on our unit, we have a chronic vent, anoxic brain that the family won't extubate. Sometimes even a DNR, with the idea that will be still treat to the max, just won't code when they stop breathing is hard to get.

    Two words: LIVING WILL
  5. by   oramar
    How many times have you heard the words, "well medicare pays for it so we might as well do it". It kills me because these people are saying that if they had to pay for it out of there own pocket the treatment would not be authorized.
  6. by   renerian
    My aunt is very ill. End stage renal failure, brittle diabetic since the age of 3. She is slowly dying. She was in the hospital for two weeks and ended up with 3 stage 2s and 2 stage 4s. She is a mess. She is getting tired and talking about stopping the dialysis. My other aunt whom she lives with wants a feeding tube placed and won't let go. My aunt is sick all the time, vomits and does not want to eat anything. She has lost 89 pounds. She was heavy yes but now she is that yucky renal color patients get.

    Trying to convince my other aunt who is 89 to let go is impossible. Very difficult.