Have you had 'care' by compassionate Hospice involving the Morphine-Ativan Cocktail? Did your loved one live or die?

Started by

Appreciate your comments! Thank you.


I think that there is another thread where this is already being discussed ad nauseum.
I would like to point out that hospice care is end of life care, so almost everyone in hospice care dies. And also that ativan and morphine are meant to be administered to relieve suffering in the final days and hours, so it is logical to assume that most people who receive this "cocktail will indeed die.
I agree with cwillie..

With or without the "cocktail" my lived ones were going to die.
The "cocktail" helped to make the end more manageable..

A lethal dose of morphine is about 200mg. Your patient is not getting anywhere near that amount. Do the math. Plus it only lasts about 4 hours.
Roxanol comes in two strengths: 10mg/5ml and 100mg/5ml. Hospice will start you with 1ml of the lower strength= 2mg.
So if Grandma got one or two doses and died, it wasn 't the morphine.
If she got 6 doses in one day, and died, it wasn't the morphine.
Same for Ativan---the dose is not lethal.
My mom is not yet on Hospice care. she has CHF, dementia, aphasia and recurring pleural effusions. We were advised by the pulmonologist that tapping her chest again is not advisable. Do I want to get Hospice involved when they discover that her chest has filled up again? Hell, yes! I hope and pray that we can prevent my mother dying while gasping for breath, feeling as though she's drowning.

Yes, my mom did and my mom died...peacefully and without pain, thank God and the compassionate caregivers.
My husband had dementia for ten years. When he was clearly in the final stage I brought hospice in. Since we were at home I controlled all the meds. He was not in physical pain so I did not use the morphine. But, alas, he died anyway. He did not die from anything hospice did. He died because he had a terminal condition and it was at its end.

My mother went on hospice care in a nursing home, after her hip broke. She had a lot of pain but could not take morphine (based on past experience) and they found other combinations of drugs to help with the pain. She was 93 when that happened. She'll be 96 soon. After about 3 months she got off hospice because she no longer qualified. She had seemed to be at death's door, but she fooled us! It wasn't her time to die. She didn't.

My daughter works in an AL. A gentleman who had been there a few years was liked by staff and fellow residents alike. He was pleasant and cheerful and cooperative. He cracked jokes. He flirted a little. So my daughter was bummed when he rapidly declined. It was especially hard to see him in so much pain. She was relieved when one of the man's son asked for hospice to be brought in. But then another son, who visited less often but was also involved in his father's life, said he wasn't sure it was time, and there was a delay in giving the order. Meanwhile the father suffered great pain. Of course staff NEVER interfere with family decisions, but there was a great collective sigh of relief when hospice came in and administered sufficient morphine to get him comfortable. For many of the staff it is not just a job. They get very attached to long-term residents. My daughter comes home sad when someone dies, but she is accepting of that. You can't work in geriatrics and not deal with death. But seeing someone in excruciating pain and not having adequate means to relieve it is worse for her. We all are going to die. I think we all hope for minimal suffering as that happens.
My dad started on a half a syringe just for pain relief. He was eating and talking. Then they upped it to a full syringe every for hrs.he was so drugged up.couldnt talk no more his eyes just started at cealing.the caregiver kept kickingbus out of room not sure why but after a few hrs he was like in a coma and even then she gave him another full syringe.he died on x mas.
Yes, my loved one was on a morphine and Ativan cocktail in the last 14 hours of his life and thank goodness for that, after dealing with 14 hours of at-home hospice with NO pain relief and sitting through his screaming in both pain and terminal restlessness for hours before I could get a hospice nurse out to the house.

He was dying from cancer. The morphine didn't hasten it or cause it. Like the others have mentioned, if your loved one was on hospice service, your loved one was dying. That's how you qualify for hospice.

I will thank our hospice service each and every day for taking over and moving him to an actual hospice facility after that disastrous 14 hours of at-home hospice. He was bathed, clean and comfortable for his last 14 hours. Making it possible to speak, say goodbye and know he was without the pain and agitation from terminal restlessness. I will never call that treatment "deadly" or imply that it wasn't "care".

My mother in law is currently on at-home hospice, and she will also be allowed whatever she needs to make her comfortable, whatever it may be and whatever time that may be needed.
Prolife, if YOU want your loved one dying in pain, agitation and thrashing, so be it.

Let those of us who think our parents, spouses, siblings and children deserve a peaceful and fear-free death have hospice services if we want them.
I hope, when my time comes, if I am lying in hospice in pain and suffering, that some kindly person helps me off into death without some rabid anti-choicer trying to get in between me and the needle.

I don't CARE what you think about your god deciding these things, you don't get to impose your religious beliefs on me. 

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support