91 year old man fatally shoots terminally ill wife

  1. 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 personally, I can certainly understand this couple's agony. One party may or may not be with it enough to be in pain, however totally deviated from baseline. The other party is watching their loved one suffer immensely. I cant say I will do the same if I was in that position, I would care for my loved one...However will I punish that guy? No.

    Please share your thoughts on assisted suicide or "mercy" killings (zzZzz that term)

    Last edit by traumaRUs on Dec 10, '15
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    About Burrell, CNA

    Joined: Jun '14; Posts: 352; Likes: 634


  3. by   AJJKRN
    The method used to end the wife's suffering might be more of what raised red flags...
  4. by   Rose_Queen
    First, assisted suicide and "mercy" killings, aka euthanasia, are completely separate things. That's the first thing many people need to realize as there is a lot of confusion and misleading information out there.

    Assisted suicide means the person takes their own life and has made the decision to do so on their own. In the states where physician assisted suicide is legal (Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, California) there are many steps to go through before final decisions are made. As the person administers their own lethal dose of medication, it is legal in those states for a physician to prescribe the medication.

    Euthanasia means that someone else administers the lethal dose without the participation of the person. Tantamount to murder in the views of many, and also illegal throughout the US.

    The scenario in your OP is certainly not assisted suicide and thus 100% illegal. Yes, I'm sure the man suffered as he watched his wife suffer. That doesn't make what he did any more right. Had his wife lived in a state where assisted suicide was legal and administered her own medication, this wouldn't even be news.
  5. by   pixiestudent2
    I think he could have killed her less brutally.....
    Seems like an awful way to go.
  6. by   Burrell
    excuse my lack of knowledge on the terminology.
  7. by   Farawyn
    The terminology in this case would be murder.
  8. by   Lev <3
    "Tired of her suffering"? More like tired of taking care of her and watching her lay in bed. To me it seems like it was more for him than her. If you don't want to take care of your wife in your retirement home, have her sent to hospice where other people can take care of her so she can die with dignity. Don't kill her by blowing her brains out.
  9. by   Pangea Reunited
    If she were truly "suffering", that needed to be addressed. Patients can be kept comfortable despite terminal illness, but "gun shot wound to the head" is usually not the method.
    It was also dangerous and irresponsible for that man to fire a weapon in a nursing home. He could have injured or killed someone else along with, or instead of, his "suffering" wife.
    I believe he should be punished. Being old doesn't make you a "good" or reasonable person.
  10. by   ProgressiveActivist
    They were in assisted living which usually means help with some adls and some degree of nursing supervision of medical needs. Hospice would have been consulted if the wife was terminal.
    This story, as written, does not ring true.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    As a hospice nurse, I agree that this was not the right thing to do.
  12. by   Jensmom7
    Quote from libbyliberal
    They were in assisted living which usually means help with some adls and some degree of nursing supervision of medical needs. Hospice would have been consulted if the wife was terminal.
    This story, as written, does not ring true.
    The problem is, even if Hospice had been discussed, he did not have to accept it. People aren't just put into Hospice.

    That being said, what he did was completely wrong.
  13. by   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!

  14. by   Alex Egan
    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.