91 year old man fatally shoots terminally ill wife - page 5

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   CFrancine
    I've tried to have the talk with my mother on what to do if she couldn't care for herself anymore (Dementia, terminal illness, etc). Her answer was swift, "Smother me with a pillow." Of course I said I can't go to jail. So she said, "Leave a gun, I'll know what to do". My point is some people would rather go out that way than suffer. Legality aside, I'm going to say the only one to say what he did was "wrong" was his wife. If that's what she truly wanted, that's why he did it and I'm sure it broke his heart to pull that trigger. I agree murder is wrong. But I also think it's wrong that if she attempted to kill herself and for some reason failed, she'd be hospitalized with a mental disorder. And they'd make sure she's never have the chance to try again. The system is broken. There needs to be more legislation on the books for people to make these decisions.
  2. by   toomuchbaloney
    meh

    It is one death completed by a man with a gun.
    This one tugs at our heart strings in a different way. Most likely because he was trying to be humane in an inhumane world of health care where suffering and a sense of hopelessness is relatively commonplace, particularly amongst the elderly and those in poverty.

    Perhaps he shouldn't have been allowed possession of a weapon because he was elderly, emotionally distraught, perhaps can't see well enough or have quick enough reflexes to respond appropriately,etc.

    Perhaps he wouldn't have chosen this behavior if any healthprofessional had provided him with some hope in caring for his spouse in her last days in a manner which would have been feasible, affordable, dignified, and available to him. Hope for less suffering and a dignified death might have caused him to think differently.

    I presume her death was quick and for that we could be thankful.
    My wife just killed her dad, he was 83.
    She didn't use a gun, she extubated him and watched him gasp for 10 minutes before he died.
    She would have been spared that (as would her father) had the hospital bothered to look for the Advanced Directives which were on file as a portion of his medical records at that facility where he received ALL of his health care, including a recent short stay (less than 2 weeks ago) where the AD were reviewed AGAIN by his cardiologist and Primary Care doc.


    I would be much more troubled by this story if it was young people who had hope for a future.
    But it is not. It is about an elderly man who obviously felt hopeless in the care of his wife and no health professional was able to help him or her. We are a gun culture, the man's actions fit with our culture.
  3. by   Farawyn
    ((((tmb))))
  4. by   klone
    Excellent post, Baloney. I agree with everything you wrote in that last post. (and I keep getting surprised to relearn that you're a dude - don't know why).

    I'm sorry about your wife and your family.
  5. by   toomuchbaloney
    Quote from klone
    Excellent post, Baloney. I agree with everything you wrote in that last post. (and I keep getting surprised to relearn that you're a dude - don't know why).

    I'm sorry about your wife and your family.
    Well, to be fair, the author of TMB posts is not always a dude...we try to be mysterious about who is posting what.
  6. by   futurepsychrn
    And just exactly what will be accomplished by putting this man in prison? Will society, as a whole, be safer with a 91 year old man in the slammer? I tend to think he did what he did out of love and compassion and, yes maybe just maybe, frustration and exhaustion from trying to care for the woman he had spent his life with. As someone who has cared for an ailing, elderly family member 24/7, I can attest that it is one of the hardest things anyone ever has to do. It's exhausting, physically and emotionally, and you can't ever see the end of the tunnel while you're in the middle of it. I'm not saying I would have made the decision he did, however, I'm not saying I wouldn't . I don't think anyone knows what they would do until they stand in that person's shoes. And as others have said, we have no clue what had or had not been discussed and decided by this couple in the many years of their marriage. We have no right to judge.
  7. by   Farawyn
    Quote from futurepsychrn
    And just exactly what will be accomplished by putting this man in prison? Will society, as a whole, be safer with a 91 year old man in the slammer? I tend to think he did what he did out of love and compassion and, yes maybe just maybe, frustration and exhaustion from trying to care for the woman he had spent his life with. As someone who has cared for an ailing, elderly family member 24/7, I can attest that it is one of the hardest things anyone ever has to do. It's exhausting, physically and emotionally, and you can't ever see the end of the tunnel while you're in the middle of it. I'm not saying I would have made the decision he did, however, I'm not saying I wouldn't . I don't think anyone knows what they would do until they stand in that person's shoes. And as others have said, we have no clue what had or had not been discussed and decided by this couple in the many years of their marriage. We have no right to judge.
    Well, if he's so despondent, why don't we just shoot him?
  8. by   CBlover
    Quote from futurepsychrn
    And just exactly what will be accomplished by putting this man in prison? Will society, as a whole, be safer with a 91 year old man in the slammer? I tend to think he did what he did out of love and compassion and, yes maybe just maybe, frustration and exhaustion from trying to care for the woman he had spent his life with. As someone who has cared for an ailing, elderly family member 24/7, I can attest that it is one of the hardest things anyone ever has to do. It's exhausting, physically and emotionally, and you can't ever see the end of the tunnel while you're in the middle of it. I'm not saying I would have made the decision he did, however, I'm not saying I wouldn't . I don't think anyone knows what they would do until they stand in that person's shoes. And as others have said, we have no clue what had or had not been discussed and decided by this couple in the many years of their marriage. We have no right to judge.
    You gotta be kiddin' me. Ok so if we don't penalize him then everybody will say,
    "Hey I shot him/her because she asked me to....after all he/she's been sick with cancer and I wanted to end her misery." Come on.
  9. by   imenid37
    I think the elderly murder-suicides are way more complex than a lot people realize. There are elements of depression, sometimes, dementia, economic woes, hopelessness, and self-absorption. These people often are totally invested in the person they kill. They cannot and do not want to go on living without that person. I think many times, they live in a very closed relationship. Caring for and even living with a person who has become totally dependent is emotionally and often economically draining. Possibly they have promised the spouse they will not go to a nursing home, while having little idea of what total care of a bed-ridden person with dementia involves, in terms of the physical, emotional, and monetary costs. Many times, the person they kill has been the one who cared for them. I am not excusing this at all. I am trying to understand. I think many times, the people who do this would NEVER commit a crime, especially one that scars others, like the nursing staff or other bystanders who witness something like this man shooting his wife in the ICU. A person who does this is desperate and alone. They only feel their own pain. The time to intervene is probably many years before this type of event. No one wants to see him or herself and demented and dependent. The reality is that many of us will end up as the patient or the caregiver. As healthcare providers and family members, and future elderly people, we need to accept the real possibility of this situation and make plans to deal with it so any one of us or our parents do not find ourselves in this very sad situation.
  10. by   futurepsychrn
    Quote from Farawyn
    Well, if he's so despondent, why don't we just shoot him?
    Why can't you ever see anyone's point of view but your own? There are many situations in which you don't 100% know what you would do unless you are in them, and if you think you do you're sadly mistaken. Not every person in the world has the ability to cope with major amounts of stress and life's humps and bumps. Deal with mentally ill and drug addicted people for a while and you will realize that. There are gray areas in every aspect of life and no one can say with absolute certainty what they would do in those gray areas without having gone through it. Yes you can say, looking at the situation from the outside, that you would definitely not do what has been done. Until you are in the middle of the situation, with all the mental and physical exhaustion and stress that accompanies it, you don't really know how you would react.
    People can't be put into neat little packages, every person is different and every situation affects them differently.
    And again I ask? What exactly would society gain by putting this 91 year old man in prison? Would you sleep safer in your bed at night for knowing a dangerous criminal was taken off of the street?
  11. by   Farawyn
    Quote from futurepsychrn
    Why can't you ever see anyone's point of view but your own? There are many situations in which you don't 100% know what you would do unless you are in them, and if you think you do you're sadly mistaken. Not every person in the world has the ability to cope with major amounts of stress and life's humps and bumps. Deal with mentally ill and drug addicted people for a while and you will realize that. There are gray areas in every aspect of life and no one can say with absolute certainty what they would do in those gray areas without having gone through it. Yes you can say, looking at the situation from the outside, that you would definitely not do what has been done. Until you are in the middle of the situation, with all the mental and physical exhaustion and stress that accompanies it, you don't really know how you would react.
    People can't be put into neat little packages, every person is different and every situation affects them differently.
    And again I ask? What exactly would society gain by putting this 91 year old man in prison? Would you sleep safer in your bed at night for knowing a dangerous criminal was taken off of the street?
    Do I know you? How do you know I'm not in this situation RIGHT now with family? That I haven't been before? With family, friends, patients?

    "Why can't I ever ...?"
    Have I ever claimed to have the answers? I speak for myself. Don't speak for me or make assumptions.
    Who are you?
    I made one statement. I've made a few in this thread. We may very well disagree.
    Slow your roll futurepsychnurse.
    I never said he should go to jail.
    I said what he did was against the law.
    Last edit by Farawyn on Jan 1, '16
  12. by   futurepsychrn
    Quote from CBlover
    You gotta be kiddin' me. Ok so if we don't penalize him then everybody will say,
    "Hey I shot him/her because she asked me to....after all he/she's been sick with cancer and I wanted to end her misery." Come on.
    As I previously stated, every situation is different and every person is different!
  13. by   Farawyn
    Quote from futurepsychrn
    As I previously stated, every situation is different and every person is different!
    This is accurate.

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