I had an 89 yr old patient curse out the doctor today.

Nurses General Nursing


You are reading page 3 of I had an 89 yr old patient curse out the doctor today.

My first reaction was that I was glad a doctor was yelled at instead of a nurse. Shame on me.

OP, you don't really know what you will do when your time comes - if you get notice, that is. Some people die suddenly or in their sleep without notice.

Death is part of our journey, yes, but it's scary, unknown. We are taught all our lives to fight to live, not quietly acquiese to dying.

I'm sorry, bad news is no reason to behave like an *******. Decorum, people. Have some.

Some people are more decorous than others when it comes to bad news, scary news, or just in general. Depends on one's culture/experiences in life/religion. Maybe she was thinking about someone who is dependent upon her and scared for that one's future, or worried about pain, or afraid of the unknown. Or maybe she's just having a great time here and plain doesn't want to go.

Specializes in ER, ICU, SICU,(Critical Care).

Okay. I was debating on whether to post my thoughts on this thread or not........and please understand, this is just my take on this..........I understand that from a clinical, nursing/ medical point of view, E, Kubler-Ross's "Stages of Death and Dying" can, and does, give a very good explanation of how to categorize and document the stages psychological reaction of the patient to death and dying. But IMHO it is the way we are taught to think about death and dying that really determines how we react to anyone giving us a time limit on the remainder of our existence.

Without getting into any one particular religious view of an afterlife, (and I think that one does exist.....),The word "Dying" has such a note of finality to it........."dead"........you stop. Everything you are, or were is no more......you have nothing after this and if that is true, you must hang onto it with tooth and nail!!...........And if you can't speak for yourself, it is up to your family to see to it that you are prolonged as long as possible..........I disagree. I, and most of you out there, have seen it up close and personal. When someone "dies", their body actually looks like whatever was in it, the "you" of you, for want of a better term, has left the building. Some have seen, and heard, dying patients talk to family members that have gone before. Some patients will be looking at something no one else in the room can see......(Angels, family, etc)......... I don't think we "die". I think we, again the "you" that is you, simply "makes transition" to somewhere else. (Heaven", "another plane", etc). It doesn't matter what you call it, really, as long as you understand that you aren't "dead". The vehicle you were inside of for 60 or so years, more or less, has worn out, can't be fixed, time to go.........the analogy I use, (admittedly a poor one), is a car. I get out of the car, go into my home. I do not want anyone to try to keep me in my car when it doesn't run anymore. Nor do I want someone to go into long depression that I am now in the house.......I am, an have been for the last 25- 30 years, a no-code.......Do nothing....... I do not fear death. The thing that truly terrifies me, is that I will be kept alive for weeks or months in ICU, or LTC while I slowly break down, get pressure sores, lay in my own excrement, lose all dignity I have left. I hope that when I have whatever event that signals the impending coming of my going, I will be with people that understand how I feel and will be glad that I finally made it home........One more thing, I also believe that you can't send yourself. Whoever, or whatever, gave us this gift of life, and continuity, would surely be upset if we threw it back in their face............

Again, I am sorry I am so long winded. But I have had this inside for a long time and have always wondered if I am the only one that feels this way............


88 Posts

no one ever wants to be given an expiration date. I hope the patient lived their life to the fullest.


686 Posts

In this kind of situation, just remember the Swiss-born Psychiatrist’s(Kubler-Ross) five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. I think it doesn’t matter how old you are. People go through that process, in general.


686 Posts

I think that that was a normal reaction.

Did you really expect your patient to say something like:

“Really Dr., I’m dying soon? Oh well, let me call my attorney and have my docs ready, let me call the funeral parlor to pick out a funeral package, let me call all my friends and family members to say good bye to them, let me dye my hair and have my nails done so I look pretty in the casket, let me, let me go to the park so I can stroll one last time, let me have a Lobster Thermidor tonight with some red wine, and let me have a massage so I can relax and not think about it.”

leslie :-D

11,191 Posts

It is psychologically unhealthy, IMO, to deny our own physicality.

of course it is.

intellectually, i think we all recognize that.

emotionally however, 'we' have not been raised in a society that acknowledges death gracefully and naturally.

heck, med students still aren't trained in eol care/issues.

it sickens me to see dr's advising futile, painful, and costly txs, to those who should be allowed to die.

it sickens me to see families withholding pain meds to their dying loved ones.

but what it ultimately shows me, is that 'we' are FAR from accepting our mortality in western society.

i read a study a couple of yrs ago, that it was actually a majority of Christians who opted for the invasive, futile txs...

which told me that no matter how devout one is, there remains a perpetual fear of meeting one's maker?

or, that maybe there isn't an afterlife... a heaven?

whatever the reasons we choose to fight/linger, it is something i would never judge.

afterall, isn't it supposed to be instinctive to fight for life?

Perhaps she was just really mad that this doctor could put an actual time frame on her expiration date.

i too believe, this is a huge part of her reaction.

again, we all know we're going to die.

but to be given a time frame, is just so palpable and absolute.

i don't care how old you are...it's a human reaction.



20 Posts

OP-I agree with you COMPLETELY! Wish my life was so sheltered that I could believe, at the age of 89, that death was not a possibility. Gosh, do these people realize much younger individuals die every day. Cussing out the doctor was completely uncalled for.


5,978 Posts

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.
I've been a nurse for forty plus years. I have had an advance directive since I was in my forties. I revised it several time. And I have seen more then my share of deaths. Fortunately, my generation and the one following behind me, general have very specific advanced directives. I am sorry if anyone thought I was being rough on the original poster but too many times I've seen my younger peers question the wasting of resource on my generation.:mad: I was justing trying to point out the eighty-nine year old's angry was based on the news. I doubt the patient expects to live forever. And like you said, everyone deals with bad news differently. Some just give up and are dead two days later. Others fight til they can't fight anymore.:yeah:


This is my advance directive: You touch me and I'll haunt you.


102 Posts

This is my advance directive: You touch me and I'll haunt you.

:lol2: :lol2: :lol2: :lol2: :yeah: :yeah::yeah::yeah::yeah:

When I was in my twenties and thirties, I use to wonder why the elderly (in their sixties early seventies) insisted on tieing up resources in our ICU's. Why they just could accept they were going to die. What gave them the right to use our resources, our skills, our beds. For the love of heaven, they had lived their life. Hey, you old people, move out of our way and let us gobble up those resources. We have better use for them. And if you are eighty-nine years old, don't you dare curse out your doctor. You have lived your life. It is time for you to give up, curl up your toes and DIE!:devil::down:

It is funny, how one's out look changes with age.


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