91 year old man fatally shoots terminally ill wife - page 2

I'm curious what yall current thoughts on this issue. Considering nursing viewpoints is ever changing and progressing; how do you feel about someone doing this in the sake of love or pity? For me... Read More

  1. by   SororAKS
    In the early 1990's I was three feet away when an elderly gentleman shot his wife in the head and then turned the gun on himself in a room of a coronary care unit. The couple's children were in the room at the time. They had gone to the nurses station early in the morning, where I was finishing up my charting and preparing for report to the day shift. One of them asked me to look at their father, who didn't appear to be feeling well...I walked in to look at him, when I was at the door slightly into the room he fired the gun.

    I respect the right of everyone to determine how they will leave this world, truly. But to conceal a gun, carry it into a hospital, kill one's spouse and self in front of children and hospital staff? To place everyone in danger?

    No. Perhaps I can't objectively answer. But no.

    I'll never forget that day as long as I live. Neither will my coworkers, the children of the couple, other patients and family members, and hospital staff not directly involved.

    I would not have had a prayer had the man turned the gun on me. I walked in, he fired into his wife's skull. I was close enough to smell the powder.
  2. by   Been there,done that
    Much to be said for the "old Yeller" approach.
    It was the quickest way for for him. Was he supposed to follow the proper channels, and watch her rot away?
  3. by   Farawyn
    Quote from Been there,done that
    Much to be said for the "old Yeller" approach.
    It was the quickest way for for him. Was he supposed to follow the proper channels, and watch her rot away?
    Who is he to decide? Was she even a DNR?

    I'm for assisted suicide. But not like this. Was there any indication this was HER plan or her choice? She's 93, so let's just shoot her?

    He has a gun, so he gets to decide she has lived long enough?
  4. by   Farawyn
    Quote from big al lpn
    As I have watched my father age 60 decline since his diagnosis at age 54 and now live in a LTC with no ability to communicate and uncertain mental status, am am constantly struck by how I know he wouldn't want to live like this. I am also sure that I do not want to live without the ability to communicate my needs and being dependent on others for all care. I cannot make that decision for my father. I wish that the laws in my state would allow me to make that decision for myself in a similar manor to a living will. My fathers condition is partially genetic and if I am diagnosed I fear loosing my ability to carry out my own death. Given no legal options I have decided that I would have to cut my quality time short to assure I do not end up in the same situation. I can understand the desperate place that the man in the story may be coming from. To say he was tired of caring for his wife and she should have been admitted to a hospice ignores the reality of the state of care in the US. Support is hard to find and in patient hospice is not readily available in most areas. I can absolutely see how it came to this point, I have been at this point.
    Feelings wise, I get what you are saying. I too have a close family member like this. She is already "gone" but physically bound to life. It sucks.

    Thanks for your post.
  5. by   PinayUSA
    Quote from Farawyn
    Who is he to decide? Was she even a DNR?

    I'm for assisted suicide. But not like this. Was there any indication this was HER plan or her choice? She's 93, so let's just shoot her?

    He has a gun, so he gets to decide she has lived long enough?
    It could be also looked at as his final act of love and his duty as a partner in life.

    We have the duty as pet owners to put our animals to sleep when their quality of life gone, It just seems we don't have that same right as humans.

    For me if I get that old and my quality of life is gone, someone please end me.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from AnnieOaklyRN
    My honest opinion is that if Americans would learn to accept death instead of denying that it isn't going to happen, then maybe more states would have euthanasia laws and this lady could have died a peaceful death!

    Annie
    There's a huge disagreement about euthanasia though. Many medical professionals do not want to be the ones who kill the patients.

    Assisted Suicide is a different creature - the patient takes the pills, prescribed by a physician. The law is pretty strict; the PATIENT has to take the pills. No one else can do it for them. This is to protect people from greedy and/or heartless family members.

    Hospice is an option that people don't consider until late in the game though and we've been trying to do a better job of educating physicians and lay people about palliative care and hospice.

    Caregiver burnout can cause people to make decisions like this - when we see this in the home, we get them help.

    Shooting someone in the head is not the way to go.
  7. by   ProgressiveActivist
    I dont know of any pet owners who shoot their animals in the head.

    Shooting his wife in the head was the height of narcissistic madness.
    The Texas justice system can give him the death sentence and I hope that they do.
    Last edit by ProgressiveActivist on Dec 11, '15
  8. by   klone
    Quote from libbyliberal
    I dont know of any pet owners who shoot their animals in the head..
    I do. That's how it's commonly handled on farms and ranches.
  9. by   ProgressiveActivist
    Quote from klone
    I do. That's how it's commonly handled on farms and ranches.
    Do the people you know on farms and ranches also shoot their sick family members in the head?
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from klone
    I do. That's how it's commonly handled on farms and ranches.
    That's true. But it is still a tough thing to do. One of my sons was asked to do this to his aunt and uncle's dog who was truly suffering with cancer. He stepped up and did it and then cried.

    But what happens on a ranch to livestock (which we eat) and pets is different than human beings.
  11. by   CBlover
    I haven't read any of the posts...but that is WRONG. Sorry. He must have some mental issues seriously. It doesn't mention that his wife wanted to end her suffering. That's the big difference in euthanasia and what this man did. I completely disapprove of euthanasia as well but he committed point blank murder.
  12. by   CBlover
    Quote from Been there,done that
    Much to be said for the "old Yeller" approach.
    It was the quickest way for for him. Was he supposed to follow the proper channels, and watch her rot away?
    Ok, I'm reading posts now and you flabbergasted me! Yea sure it was the quickest way! A bullet ends lives really fast...yea. I'm sure that's why many murderers choose a gun. What on earth are you thinking?! I think there are "proper channels" when it comes to end of life thank you. Wow.
  13. by   Ruas61
    Horrible all the way around.

    None of us knows what was on what was going on in his head or heart that led him to this course of action.

    Dementia? Hopelessness? Some misguided belief that this would be the most expedient method to dispatch her suffering? Hatred? Anger?

    It is sad that they got to this point without some kind of support or interventions.

    I abhor the thought and actions and cannot condone it on any level.

    It is just such an incredibly sad ending to two lives.

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