The Right to Die?

Nurses General Nursing


You are reading page 2 of The Right to Die?

judy ann

225 Posts

Specializes in obstetrics(high risk antepartum, L/D,etc.

My advance directives are in order, and my friend and I are POAHC for each other. We frequently remind each other of our wishes. I have had an idea that could make me some $$$. I think I will make a lovely embroidered sampler to go at the head of my bed at the appropriate time. It will say " HE IS CALLING, GET OUT OF MY WAY!" Anyone interested in ordering? (You also are welcome to make your own.) :saint:


652 Posts

I saw a segment on the news a day or so ago about this poor showed photos of her before and after..she was so pretty,vital,and alive...the after photos hardly even resemble her former self.We all deserve to die with dignity.I can only immagine the emotions her family/husband are feeling.All I do know is that Lord knows if I were this poor soul I'd want to be let go...Alive and living...two different things for sure .

Cared for a pt couple of nights ago..with frequent admissions over many,many years..this guy had a motorcycle accident over 20 years ago when he was 25 y/o..has been in a vegative state for this whole time..20 years..could any of us immagine ..20 years of being turned,cleaned,fed per tube,suctioned,being trapped in a body with no control over our bodies or minds..I come home crying every time I have to care for this man.So sad,so very sad.


5 Posts

I have not followed this case real close but after working in ICU's for many years I strong feelings about this.

I don't know about the money deal with the family, I know there are accusations that the husband is doing all of this to get his hands on the settlement money. I don't know but if they, as my wife and I have, had discussions about vegetative existance and she expressed her desire to be let go, that should be it! No one else should have anything to say about it!

I have made a similar decision and have informed my wife and all 9 of my children that I have no desire to stay here in a vegetative, heroically sustained state. PULL THE STINKING PLUG!!!!

A human being should have the right to die with dignity.


266 Posts

shouldnt the quality of life be somewhere in the picture? Vegetative state is NOT quality of life- I have my brother as my POA and he knows, No feeding tubes or vents- NO MATTER WHAT!! When it gets to the point where I am not any longer able to communicate what I need or care for my own self, basci personal ADL's, then please, please let me go, then donate every possible organ you can to possibly give someone else a chance, if there are no organs that are of any use, then donate my body to research so hopefully it can be used for learning or finding a cure to something. Dont let me linger for years in a nursing home with no quality of life when i could be helping so many more by not being alive.


10 Posts

Have worked with long term vent patients for far too long.....

Prolong life or prolong DEATH?

This is going to sound bad but, we keep far too many rotting, half-dead people alive.

Poor souls, what lessons are we supposed to learn from this?


71 Posts

Can someone define PVS for me? I don't want to sound stupid. I am currently in the beginning part of becoming an LVN, so please excuse me, I'm learning :)

I'd think PVS would mean that person is unreactive. From the videos and pictures I've seen, she reacts quite well.

Also, from what I've read, she's been denied rehabilitation by her husband. How do we know if she can't or can recover if she is refused rehabilitation by which many doctors have said would help her.

Just my 2 cents, I don't mean to step on anybodies toes :)


79 Posts

Just a couple of comments in general:

Brain dead and PVS are not the same thing. Brain dead is dead-no further obligation to attempt resusitation. I saw the term used earlier and just had to say that.

Regarding extreme measures to sustain life- unless the person in question has made their wishes known via a legal document the family has to call the shots after the medical professionals inform them of the options. What else can we do as healthcare professionals? Culture has a lot to do with what those decisions will be.

What's sad to me is that so few people actually complete the paperwork. I have begged and pleaded with my Mom about this and she doesnt want to talk about it. As a case manager, I had to call the ethics committee at the hospital to meet and examine a patient when there was no legal paperwork (a living will for example) and a family who disagreed. It was difficult and painful for the whole family needless to say.

I really enjoy the subject of medical ethics and love a good debate, thanks for bearing with me :)

jnette, ASN, EMT-I

4,388 Posts

Specializes in Hemodialysis, Home Health.
Originally posted by night owl

On the other hand, so why is it that an 81 y/o brain dead, contracted, multiple decubitus, GT, s/p tube pt be allowed to stay on a ventilator? We had such a pt in our LTC facility. Family wanted everything done to keep him alive. Moved him from our facility to a medical facility so he could be on a vent. He had a trach. He's had pneumonia hundreds of times, his decubitus encompass 50% of his body, his heels are basically up his butt he's so contracted. He must have pain so what do they give him??? Tylenol 650mgs via GT q6hrs. Pleeese! Of course he has no chance of recovery, so what is it all about? His money! This is criminal and abusive as far as I'm concerned. Someone is paying their mortgage or their kids way through college on this poor souls money all while he suffers. I mean how do these creeps sleep at night???

That IS criminal, IMO. Absolutely horrendous. :( :o


266 Posts

Has anyone heard any updates on this woman, like how she is, anything??


71 Posts

As far as I know, she is doing well. You can check out some of the current updates on her at As far as I know, most of the updates have been mostly political and really nothing new about how she is doing. For the most part I think she is stable.

I am seeing more and more the necessity for a living will or something stating what I want to happen if anything happens to me.

Peeps Mcarthur

1,018 Posts


The "right to die" clearly isn't one you know. It's more like a death sentence than the method of euthanasia given to prisoners.

This is the subject of a term paper I'm writting called Contradiction of Purpose. It contrasts the humane method of euthanasia ordered upon prisoners with the comparatively inhumane euthanasia granted to those persons unfortunate enough to have a feeding tube as the only means of life support.

It is startling to examine the euthanasia methods of prisoners, livestock, and family pets compared to those persons in a persistent vegetative state or chronic disease process that wish to die.

A proponent of pulling the tube would argue that the patient (victim) would feel no pain. It would be assured by the introduction of adequate pain meds.

*You can't assess pain med effectiveness in a vegetative patient you bozos!

*If you can give pain meds williy-nilly, why not a lethal injection.

Quit being such PC wussies and pass the law that Oregon put on its referendum and passed......twice!!



358 Posts

I also wrote a paper on euthanasia. It's really not that simple. I thought that it would be. I thought that Holland had done amazing things with their euthanasia policies and that the same thing should be initiated around the world, in every country, in every hospital. Then, doing further research, I stumbled across this statistic... in 1990, 6000 patients were euthanized against their own wishes. While I agree that each individual case should be examined, sometimes these cases are examined based on the dollars and cents that a person's life is costing the health care system.

As for quality of life... I have no business deciding whose life has quality and whose life does not. I have been there, on the personal side and as the one providing health care. Each person should make their own decision, and if unable to decide for themselves, then their loved ones should do so. Yes, I understand that there are faults with the way things are... but I would not want to see things the way they are in Holland either. It was supposed to be a foolproof system. It isn't. I won't speculate on the value of someone's existence. If they did not make their wishes known on paper, then the only one(s) who should make these types of decisions are the people who KNEW and LOVED them. We can't take back this type of decision. We can't say "Oops, made a mistake!" Leave the decision to the people who ARE sure of what the person wanted.

The system may not be perfect, but it is the best we have and the alternatives are too terrifying.

And don't judge me as naive, or as a green student. As I said, I have been there on the personal side of this issue. I made the choice as the loved one appointed to do so. I sat there for the twelve days it took once parenteral nutrition was withdrawn. The difference in this case, is that the person made their wishes known on paper.

If you love your families, make your wishes known on paper and ensure that you leave a person in charge who can abide by your wishes. Don't make them wonder, don't make them guess, don't make them fight over you as is happening in that poor woman's case. Make your decisions, and make them legal, and make sure that everyone KNOWS what they are.

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