91 year old man fatally shoots terminally ill wife - page 3

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   danceyrun
    Quote from 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.


    I am so so sorry you had to witness that.
  2. by   CBlover
    Quote from Ruas61
    It is just such an incredibly sad ending to two lives.
    I mean really. After 60 years of marriage? I wish the story gave more details. I highly question his sanity to do such a deed.
  3. by   WoosahRN
    I think that would have been the end of me and nursing. Not sure how you recover from that. Hope you have.

    (forgot to quote...to the nurse who witnessed a man shooting his wife and then turned the gun on himself)
  4. by   Anna Flaxis
    At 93 and 91, they would have been born in 1922 and 1924, respectively. They would have grown up during the Great Depression, and would have come of age during WWII. From what I know of this generation of people from my own experience working with them is that they tend to be self-reliant with a sense of personal responsibility, self-sacrifice, and a strong commitment to doing what is right. We do not know what kinds of conversations they may have had, what agreements they may have had, as we were not privy to those details of their private lives together. For all we know, they may have had a mutual agreement about what they wanted. I am reserving judgment.
  5. by   canigraduate
    There's not really enough of the story for me to comment upon. It's one of those, "Hey, get angry about this!" type of articles.

    Is the husband suffering from dementia? Does he have a mental illness? It's possible he was a WWII vet - did he have PTSD and flashbacks? What condition was the wife in before she was shot? Were they a loving a couple or did they just stick together because they made vows? Was he suffering from a soon-to-be debilitating illness that would keep him from caring for her?

    Why did they allow firearms in a retirement home? Why did the home care worker leave without checking to see if the wife was really dead or just unconscious? Why did it take three hours for a supervisor to come check on them?

    There're just too many questions here.
  6. by   Anna Flaxis
    Quote from canigraduate
    Why did they allow firearms in a retirement home?
    They didn't. He had one that nobody knew about.

    Why did the home care worker leave without checking to see if the wife was really dead or just unconscious?
    My impression was that she was expected to die. She had a terminal illness that she had been suffering from for some time.
  7. by   PinayUSA
    Quote from libbyliberal
    Do the people you know on farms and ranches also shoot their sick family members in the head?
    Yes, My uncle was a cattle farmer and true cowboy, he was diagnosed with cancer and he sucked on a pistol.
  8. by   imenid37
    Quote from 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.
    This makes me feel sick. I would like to say I cannot imagine what you went through. I feared that that what you describe could happen with my own parents and am thankful it did not. My mother has dementia.

    My parents were very closed people. They came to this country in the early 1950's. She was 21 and he was 25. He was brilliant in terms of math and physics, but painfully introverted. My mother loved to read and was very interested in history. He was a college graduate and she left school, as many young girls did in the UK, at age 14. He ruled the roost, but really treasured her. I think he was so socially awkward that he was thrilled to have someone who actually liked him for himself. As she declined in terms of physical and mental capacity, he became distraught.

    I hardly spoke to my parents for about two years. When we did speak for more than a few minutes, I found that she could not walk anymore. My mother was on the phone and asked me to come visit. My dad did not want to take her to the doctor or hospital. For several days I tried, but could not get him to take her for care. I called adult protective services and reported my own father.

    Thank God they were kind. They did not charge him, which I think they could have. My mother went to the ED and then to a rehab which did little to change her condition. Then she went home. She was on hospice. I was never clear why. She had a care giver 12 hours a day. My dad slept on the sofa next to her hospital bed. He told her they would get her some help, so she would walk again. For almost a year, it went this way. He talked about how it would be when she was gone. What would he do? Also he spoke about how he hated to see her like this. He was very torn. He repeatedly said when she died, he wanted to go within 24 hours.

    They loved dogs. They loved to go for walks. They traveled to the UK several times a year into their 80's. That was all gone. They also shared a common history of having lived through the bombs of World War Two in London as children. Some of their school mates were killed. He lived in a house attached to another. When he was about the age of about 13, a bomb dropped on the neighboring home, killing all of the occupants. There were air raids and rationing.As they did, the British "carried on." I think they were devastated inside by much of what they saw, but were not free to speak about it. He, especially, being a man of that age, did not talk about some things that really bothered him.

    In April, he started to have some chest pain. He was also on hospice. In two weeks time, he looked very different from what had been his normal. One night, he fell on the floor between the living room and the bathroom. He was probably on his way back to the sofa to sleep next to my mother as he always did. The next morning, when the lady who cared for my mother 12 hours a day arrived, they called me. The police needed my permission to break down the door. He was gone.

    My mother talks some very crazy things. Truth is mixed with what she fills in. Repeatedly, she says he laid on the floor and couldn't get up. He told her not to worry about him. After awhile, he told her to be quiet and go to sleep. She kept asking if he was cold. She said he kept telling her to just be quiet and seemed annoyed. After awhile, he didn't answer when she called. "You know, he had no patience for anything." That statement is definitely true.

    I used to think once my mother died, he would have some good years and be able to go out more, etc. The truth is that she was his life. Right or wrong. He, like so many, of that generation had 100% invested in that other person. When I see these elderly murder suicides, I know it could have easily been my parents. I am so grateful that guns were not part of their "culture." I knew if that would happen, it would not hurt anyone else. Until he died, I called everyday to check in with a person I barely spoke to for several years. He was grateful.

    I love my husband, but he is not one hundred percent of my life. Hopefully, I will not be my father or my mother. Hospice discharged her. She still lives at home. Her caregivers are there 24/7. I have to stop writing now. It is time to get in my car. Every weekend, I drive 150 miles each way to spend the day with her. I told my dad, I would make sure she stayed in her house and not go into a nursing home.

    I know there are way too many people like me out there. There are no easy solutions. When you are busy with your own life, it is ok when your parents don't "bother" you. I was angry that my parents had shut me out. I think my dad was in denial and embarrassed about my mother's dementia. I am glad we did reconnect. It has been a difficult lesson. I am grateful for the opportunity to reconnect and to have come to understand my parents as I never had before.
  9. by   Do_Good
    I didn't read all the comments so please forgive me if I'm repeating what others have said.
    I currently work in a correctional setting. It is like any other small community....ie...patients are ill, have surgeries, or become terminally ill and need hospice care. I care for patients - some who have committed heinous acts) without prejudice. I feel that caring for someone at the end of life is a privilege and I believe every person deserves the right to die with dignity. What that man did was robbed his wife of the opportunity to die with dignity. Can you imagine what she looked like with a gunshot in her skull or how the people felt when they saw that violent scene or how their children and grandchildren have to live with the memory of that for the rest of their lives? It was a selfish act and against the law. He should be charged with some level of murder.
  10. by   Rose_Queen
    Quote from Anna Flaxis
    We do not know what kinds of conversations they may have had, what agreements they may have had, as we were not privy to those details of their private lives together. For all we know, they may have had a mutual agreement about what they wanted. I am reserving judgment.
    Still doesn't change the fact that what he did is legally considered murder.
  11. by   Farawyn
    Quote from PinayUSA
    Yes, My uncle was a cattle farmer and true cowboy, he was diagnosed with cancer and he sucked on a pistol.
    My uncle did the same thing. Sorry for your loss.
  12. by   PinayUSA
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    Still doesn't change the fact that what he did is legally considered murder.
    Negative

    That will be up to the court system to make that decision
  13. by   hawaiicarl
    We had a patient, same sort of thing, but he only had a starters pistol, was unsuccessful in his attempt. After being charged and released, he went home and hung himself in their house. The wife ended up dying of cancer shortly after.

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