Should someone in Hospice be forced to eat or wear oxygen?
My 92 year old mother in law lives in LTC facility and is mentally in good shape. She has very slow growing tumors that do not obstruct her breathing, according to her doctor and seem to cause her no pain. She gets very frequent UTI's which seem to be the main culprits of most of her discomfort as well as, at times, mental clarity, which I have heard is not uncommon.
Due to several falls/breaks within the past four or five years, she has been wheelchair bound and she does have difficulty staying dry, which exacerbates the UTI issues. Also, not uncommon, her sense of smell and taste are not very sharp and the food where she lives is downright awful. She does seem at times to have a taste for sweets but often rejects some of her meals or parts of them because she just doesn't like what she is served.
My husband's only brother, who lives in the same town as she does, basically bullies her. He tries to jam food into her that she doesn't want and bullies her about wearing her oxygen, which she doesn't like to wear and feels isn't always necessary. Her oxygen percentages rarely fall below 92 or 93, not bad. She weighs about 138 and is 5'7" or so, so she isn't just skin and bones although she used to be much larger (170 +/-) several years ago, mostly from sitting around too much eating fattening and sweet stuff.
Anyway, my BIL can be really mean in the way he puts things to her, so she will wear the oxygen or eat things he brings in to her just to make him leave her alone. Last night she told us he brought her a huge sundae and made her eat it. She said after she ate it, she 'upchucked'. This stuff just disgusts me.
I am wondering why, when a person is prepared to die, not necessarily depressed at all but just old and infirm and 'ready', people seem to want to thrust things on them they don't want. I would like some input from others on this. I am wondering if I am off base. I see this bullying behavior with my BIL toward his mother as just a power play. He doesn't seem in any way to be in denial that she is going to pass away. He does seem to have huge control issues; in fact, he seems to harbor a grudge for what she, in his mind, did years ago that he did not like.
My MIL is a Christian woman who has accepted that she will 'go to a better place' and seems to be ready to leave this life. What is so bad if she is slightly oxygen deprived - if she is so uncomfortable wearing the oxygen thing - and is she is somewhat thin because she has no appetite? She is not dehydrated or in any way out of it.