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Was he right is trying to give the right of choice to suffer or die with dignity?

Our dogs had to be put down- they didn't understand what was happening. 30 second shot, and their sufferig was over. My poor lab had cancer, again. took friend who s nurse antheistist with me to vet, Cab put his head on our kness and just laid there. Very peaceful and dignifieid. Very much loved, went with us everywhere.....Pets our our family too.

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I know I will catch some flak for this so here goes. I wouldn't do my dog like I have seen humans treated when nature says it's time to go.The rounds of chemo they are talked into by well meaning friends and family and MDs.with the possibility of a few months, but what hell those months are.The procedures, the ICU stays for weeks, months, never seeing the sun, feel the wind again.My personal belief, again I know this will get some upset and I apologize,is that family tends to go with these over the top procedures and treatments is to postpone them having to deal with the death of the loved one, it is selfish but it is so human to be that way. They are selfish not out of hate or meaness but fear, fear of death, facing their own mortality. Also when you lose your parent you also in a way lose your past.It's only natural people will put off having to deal with something painful. It isn't easy being the one to tell the MD no more, stop it.I've seen families turn on each other, call the one that stopped everything a murderer.What gets me do these people think we live forever, we are finite creatures.A hundred yrs. ago death seemed to be more accepted as part of life but with the advancement of meds and procedures and TV people somewhere along the way seemed to get the idea that death wouldn't happen to them.I think people should have a better option than to have to die in some old man;s van(Kevorkian) but at least he got the subject out in the open.At least people are talking. Thirty yrs ago when I started as a nurse, the word hospice didn't exist as far as I know, it wasn't even an option.Nobody died at home.,they lingered for what seemed an eternity in limbo in an ICU or hospital bed and never saw their home,pets, the sky,the sun etc again. They died in a sterile unnatural setting no matter how nice the nurses and mds were.My dad died of leukemeia and at the time the only treatment was constant blood transfusions, this was yrs ago, my mother calls me one day screaming he refused to do it anymore. I go and pick him up at the hospital and I told him I would do whatever he wanted, I wasn't going to use up what energy he had to argue with him, this wasn't about me.All he wanted was to go home, be in bed with his little dogs and books and I made that happen. My mother went ballistic when I told her I was calling in hospice, she didn't want him dying in "her" home. I reminded her it was also his home, she has NPD and can be a real bitch.And that is what happpend. Old friends would come by the house, he had his dogs, his books and familiar surroundings, would even go out in the yard sometimes, he couldn't have these things in the hospital, he passed peacefully and unafraid.So start talking to each other, you can be afraid but just start talking to each other, what you want, don't want, tell all your family, don't place guilt on one person, make it very clear now,don't wait until possible dementia sets in.These are difficult talks but once the words get going it isn't all that bad and can actually bring families closer together
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After being a caregiver and watching my mom's steady decline,I am so Kevorkian for myself. I do not have kids and I'm an only child so no nieces or nephews. As soon as I see it's going to be bad for me in terms of my health, I'm taking matters into my OWN hands. Let the bible thumpers hate me. I really don't give a blank.
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If someone is in pain and really does want to die and has no hope of anything but pain and misery, I can't think it's humane to force them to endure that. Some might claim that there could be a cure at any time. That might be true but if the person is in such misery that they don't feel they would try to wait for any potential (although probably unlikely) relief, then I think that is up to them.

The problem comes with regard to where to cut this off. I had watched the Kevorkian film and I can't remember this, but I think he did try to be careful that the person really did understand and could make the decision. I think there needs to be some kind of way to make sure that it's not a whim, that the person really understands what they're doing, and that their situation is truly serious-enough to warrant this.

Unlike a pet, where we (hopefully) make an informed decision for them, in a human being's case, they are making the decision for themselves and I think we have to be extra-cautious not to let someone have a suicide merely because they're depressed, for example.

But I also think it's a hard issue to involve a doctor in. A doctor could most easily understand how to put a person out of their pain, but I have to wonder if that really does push them away from their Hippocratic oath. That's an ethical discussion for someone else to pursue as I'm not sure how to address that, myself.
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Choosing to die gracefully (without extreme treatments such as chemo and the like) is not the same a suicide. We all die. Period. I am a Christian and the Bible has brought me great peace and comfort through tough days so maybe you would call me a Bible thumper. The Bible tells me how to live in the light and how to die with great hope.
I am opposed to extreme medical interventions which cause us to linger and suffer.
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ITA. For myself, I would want to be at home and kept in comfort. An IV bag with Morphine in it would be perfect. I like to let it flow to be as "comfortable" as necessary. Hey, when the heart gives out, it's time to cross over. At least I wouldn't be put through crazy life saving methods, which would tire me out and make me feel like I want to die, but can't
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I think any of us watching our parents decline, or ourselves having been really sick or in pain, know that it's better to die with dignity and in your own surroundings rather than having strangers yell, pull, push, stab at you.... I believe in letting a person "be comfortable", and letting the heart give out, peacefully.
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I think the point I want to make is for people to start talking with their families now, while everyone is in good health, not sick and depressed.It is an uncomfortable subject but so necessary and again once the talk gets started it gets that elephant out of the room. And families with multiple children really need to start talking about POA,DPOA, MPOA before anyone gets sick so everyone is on the same page.Some of the kids(adults) it may be just to much for them, that is okay, but the parents need to figure out which kid can handle it and make their wishes known to all the kids, cousins,nephews, nieces etc what they want so nobody gets a guilt trip placed on them.
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i greatly admire kevorkian . he had hepc and was in tune with the horror of impending liver cancer for himself . he broke the law because the law was sick . ill always despise gwb with his squinty , scowl for imprisoning doc and trying to " save " chaivo .. gwb doesnt believe in anything but lying for fame and personal gain .
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Thank you for reading and understanding. This limbo is tough. You have to be tough to get old someone told me. My dad tried so hard to fight liver cancer...At least he did die at home 13 months later...We are on year 4 wilth ALZ... I acknowledged mom's ALZ only 2 years ago. AGain Thank you for listening.
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I have had this conversation with those that matter to me...My choice, my decision.... while on the one hand, modern medicine has made awesome advances...... the other hand is letting people live in abject misery, pain, and dread....
For me it's not even about dignity. It's about, if I ccan't be alive in all ways, then I don't want to do this anymore....My kids know how I feel, know that it is my choice and will be by my own hand.... I will not expect them to participate....

I would not encourage or discourage any one that wanted to end their life..... just as my journey has been personal... so my exit will be.
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Tex I began nursing in England in the late 50s and the modern hospice movement was just begining. My only contact was escorting a patient to an inpatient facility which seemed little different from a N/H. I knew nothing of the philosophy untill i became a hospice nurse 17 years ago. Earlier in the UK I was a staff nurse on a professorial medical unit. the professors specialty was kidney disease and some of our patients were admitted in the final stages of kidney failure. This was before the days of dialysis or kidney trantsplants. The medication of choice in those days was injections of heroin. The dose was generous and had to be given every four hours as prescribed so the patient was still rousable but avoided the terminal agitation. Some nurses did not want to give this medication when the patient appeared to be comfortable and drowsy but it was essential for a peaceful end. The concept of dying at home did not seem popular at that time but all my grandparents had passed in their own homes but that was before socialized medicine so a hospital stay would have involved considerable expence and Drs still made house calls.
What did I learn from this? I am sorry to say not too much at the time but when I started working for hospice so many years later and was given the means to keep my patients comfortable at the end of life I had no problem being generous with their medications.
Assisted suicide? I know a family who did just that when their loved one decided the time was right. Adults and children gathered at the bedside for an evening of family togethernes and were able to say their final goodbyes. The loved one simply did not wake up in the morning.
Suicide has such a harsh sound to it. I wish there was a better word to describe ending ones own life. Mine and my husband's wishes are written and our children know what we want. Recently I saw a new Dr who turned out to be 83 years old. After being diagnosed with dysphagia and asthma I was prescribed two steroid inhalers which I was reluctant to use because I felt the steroids might impact my heart conditions. He pulled his chair closer and said "Now Veronica I am just a little bit older than you " patting my knee "Now what do you want quality or quantity of life?" I smiled back and said "I was a hospice nurse I choose quality" he nodded and told the nurse to go and find me some sample inhalers.
My stepmother had colon cancer and had surgery and chemo. The chemo did a lot of damage to her body and she siad she wished she had never had it, The last ten years of her life were miserable as she became able to do less and less for herself living alone.
I have arranged for many animals to be euthanized. It is sad when it is a small one but to see a horse fall to the ground as the drugs take effect is something else but always the right decision.
So when my time comes I hope I am still able to make the decision to leave under my own steam but if not I hope someone who loves me will guide my hand.
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Capt I know you did what was best for your Mom and at the very end your agreed with the medications to keep her comfortable and ease her fear. You are a man to be admired for caring for your mother, very few sons do that. Those that do are exceptional men but then we all know you are unique.
Most MDs see the death of a patient as a failure on their part and many relatives want " to do everything they can " for their loved one. What the patient wants or needs are frequently ignored in the relatives denial of reality. They can not be blamed for that it is part of the grieving process. No one educates us about death. It is final, the end of life and something to be dreaded. Why can we not celebrate it as a joyful ocassion (not because the old witch has finally left us in peace to get back to our lives) but to honor the achievements of the person who has just died and remember their good qualities as well as the bad ones and find it in our hearts to forgive them so we are able to move on with our own lives. We are full of joy when a new baby comes into this world and take extaordinary measures to keep them alive. Maybe that is also something we should consider while we are thinking about quality of life. I am not going to open that pandora's box as it has no place on this site.
We all know Capt you face life with good humor and compassion for others even when facing great adversity yourself. You don't sit home asking for handouts and you are out pounding stone when others would have taken to their beds. No, cutting Edna's bangs does not count as great adversity unless it results in jail time for elder abuse. well back to the cooking chanell. I canned peaches today!!!!!!
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I have an asenal of pills stashed in cash I need it. I don't want my child suffering hrough this. zi just hope i will get it figured out when I'm ready....my family is great, beautiful child, new rescue dog. she had imprinted on my daughter. It's cute. trhying to fin dthings to stay happy for....Have a good weekend everyone. WE all deserive it, more so that some others.
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my son and i worked and lived together from his age 12 - 21 ( thereabouts ) . we laughed about " things " . of course i have ( had ) hepc . sometimes when id be a little overbearing while teaching him on the job , hed look skyward and mumble " c ' mon liver cancer " . a time or two weve chatted about terminal illness . i told him once that in my case it would be not very nice, but sensible to cram about 3 grams of heroin in a va parking lot if i were terminal and tired of it . ( that actually happens occasionally ) he snorted kinda like mom usedta do and told me theyd just haul me inside and detox me . i s'pose hes right . people quicker in the head than myself can be so annoying .
it reminded me of the time when i first started staying with mom , i asked her about the plan if i were to find her with dangerous low blood sugar . i told her that barring the proper knowlege , id probably inject her azz full of pancake syrup. grrr , same snort , mom says " the pancake syrup is sugar free " ..
so much for any quick thinking i might ever do ..
when mom was knocked out from comfort meds at end of life , sis and i discussed letting her return close enough to conscienceness for communication purposes but below pain or agitation state . sis said that hospice nurse did not want mom anywhere near conscienceness , it would be cruel to let that happen for any reason . we both had to agree with the nurse on that after thinking about it for a moment . we realized that we were possibly being nudged towards administering the meds ourselves so no one could later howl about how hospice dispatched our mom . well , good thinking on the part of hospice if that were the case . the death by morphine overdose / organ failure from dementia , became a family decision . it was an azzload of liquid morphine , to be increased as needed to keep mom unconscience , with no max limit set ..
later as the three of us kids chatted i jokingly accused oldest sis of killing mom . she sheepishly said " so you didnt have to " . the three of us just grinned rather wryly at each other ..
screw terminal agitation . the hospice air bed brought for the terminal phase was , in looking back , an inflateable " playpen " designed to keep a terminally agitated person from clamoring out of bed and hurting themselves . watching them clamor to escape their dying organs will convince a compassionate person to make with the comfort meds pretty quickly ..
you drop some meds and sit back and contemplate if your indeed killing them or if your keeping them comfortable while organ failure kills them . the latter of the two thoughts wins out . the " common sense / compassion one " ..
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then you have yourself a couple of drops of the morphine for yourself , a shot of everclear , and wait some more . ( true story )
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Yeah, I believe that at the end YOU need the Ativan too, for the last few hours, because you don't know it is the last few hours and you don't know how much more YOU can withstand. Thank you for being so candid, Captain. Blueberry morphine for bystanders. Not a bad idea. You are going to pour it all down the sink afterwards anyway.
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we had ativan too , pam . they sent comfort meds , they should be real clear on " for whom " .
i have a fond memory tho . as hospice and sis were preparing to have mom taken from her bedroom at home there was a little burst of more laughter than oughtta come out of a deceased persons bedroom . them b*tches were in there destroying the leftovers .
meh ..
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I guess they knew what they were doing capt!
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We threw thousands of dollars of meds down the drain, what a waste. And yes we were making jokes about who could use it for what , or how much money we could make if we sold it, as we poured the pills into a Ziploc bag with kitty litter and rubbing alcohol, and mashed it to a pulp. Liquid morphine went down the sink and I wondered how the fish would like it in the river. Fluid bags were sliced and dumped; meanwhile there is a national shortage of fluids.
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our liquids were poured into gauze bandages to be disposed of . there is a real push on to keep meds from being flushed . va encourages destroying them in coffee grounds .
been thinking about mom , hospice , a lot today , what with cuz trying to limit my access to edna . people have flaws . there is no perfect caregiver . parents just choose the kid with the least self interests imo .. edna only had one kid ..
good kid , but wouldnta been my first choice ..
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Coffee grounds? No, someone in the family would be drinking Blueberry Roxanol Folger's. Some dude with a beard and bandana (HA!) Gosh I hope you share it with Edna and enjoy the glow. Give a sip to her daughter too, she might lighten up a bit. We don't get to pick our kids, I had two, but now I am down to one, and he's still deeply grieving. I'm too old to pop out a replacement for him to play with. I'll have to adopt one of those Border Kids.
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ya notice ( i did ) that they took the morphine soaked bandages away with them didnt you ?
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Nothing is poured down the drain here.... it all goes into the kitty litter/alcohol bags.... now how they dispose of that is a mystery.... too much confusion to ask.... but now I am wondering..... hmmmm....
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Hi Pam I've got news for you. Very old women have been able to carry a baby these days
Aint modern medicine wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope you still pocess the necessary facilities. I have hung on to mine. (Surprise every new docter) not planning on using it though.
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ladee,
in central indiana i think most of our trash goes to a big incinerator in indy . smoke scrubber technology and the likes evidently makes the output pretty acceptable . steam is made , electricity produced from the steam i think .
heres a nice change . most of the motor oil in your parts store now is 5 bucks + a quart . valvoline will sell you completely recycled and restructured oil for 3.30 a qt . go usa
i havent a reason in the world not to trust the recycled oil .
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Thanks Captain.... in all my years of caregiving, I have never given any thought to what is done with the 'left overs in the bag'..... being an ex-addict.... I only think....man, what a waste...... think I will check into what they do here in Texas....but good to hear that Indiana is ahead of the curve....
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My aunt's morphine was flushed. I thought cousin overdosed aunt, and glad she did, if that is what happened. She stopped suffering. aunt had cervical type cancer. Doc said we needed to see, so he split her gut open, and said, "yes, she has cancer all over, can't do nothing about it" Sewed her up, watch her try to heal from that, chemo, trying to get strong, and we all have to go. She was asleep nad ready to go out with cousin, she steps into the room, and 5 minutes later, steps out, aunt was gone. The last words I said to her was I love you. Glad I got that out, she said it back to me. The morphine went down, I guess they have to go somewhere....
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Captain - In 1998, a friend of mine was in the hospital with terminal cancer. I was by his side most of time. He had been estranged from his family for 10 years, but through this ordeal, reconnected with them. They wanted me to be the family spokesperson when they weren't there (they were from out of town), and asked my advise frequently, since I knew their son better than they did at that point.

His cancer was stomach cancer, which had spread throughout his body, including his brain. He had been unaware of any of it until he'd gone to emergency and been admitted. The last day, the day he died, he'd been there for 16 days. They'd done a pretty good job of keeping him comfortable. The last 5 days he'd been unconscious because of the morphine. They didn't give him longer than a week. When I walked in that morning, however, he was awake and agitated. His sister was there, and told me that they'd been talking. He wasn't talking then. He couldn't. She was happy that he was awake. I believe she asked the asked the staff to let him wake up so she talk to him. Then he grabbed his head and started screaming. And kept screaming and screaming and screaming. Until he died. His sister and I were both sobbing.

That haunted me for a long time. When my mother told me that she wanted to stay with my Dad, that she had to be with him when he died, I discouraged her from doing it. I didn't want her to have horrible images in her head if his passing wasn't peaceful like I did when Jeff died. Mom wasn't going to listen to me, but I think Dad heard me, because he did it while we were gone anyway. He always did protect Mom.

I sure did wish for something to take the edge off that night - stronger than alcohol, anyway. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to all opiods, which scares the heck out of me. How are they going to control MY pain? How will hospice help ME? Kevorkian is definitely on to something.
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Equilott I am so sorry you had to endure that with Jeff. it must have been a horrible experience for all concerned. the lesson here is not to let someone wake up like that, not only does the pain hit them but also the withdrawal is very bad as you witnessed.
You may not be allergic to the synthetic ones like oxycontin. That works just as well as morphine and can be given in the same way. I don't know if it is possible but they may be able to do an allergy skin test to see how you react.
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My husband had excruciating pain for 7 awful weeks (cancer0 and hospice gave him all pain meds allowed. I never left his side and never asked them to lighten up meds so that he would wake up. BUT he did wake up anyway for about 30 minutes the day before he died. He was able to talk through the pain and I am very grateful. His suffering was horrific but I never left him alone. He was the light of my life.
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wow equillot . thanks . my aunt is complaining about her head hurting and the back of her eyeballs , then she rubs the sides of her head way around to her ears . it doesnt take much imagination to visualize whats going on there . i hope NH medicates as they wish despite pia cause shes an emotional train wreck with no thoughts for anything but her own interests . i trust the docs here . they know pia is flaky , theylle sidestep her .
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