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Dont be afraid. Prayer is good but it does not take care of the pain nor anxiety so many of our loved ones suffer at the end of life.

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When my sister was dying of cancer, hospice used an IV to administer medications because scar tissue and cancer was blocking her digestive tract. Before she slipped into a coma, she took sips or water and ice chips to relieve her dry mouth. After she went into a comma, we used a wet washcloth to dampen her mouth and vaseline on her lips.

We contacted hospice and had a "evaluation" visit weeks before my BIL would allow them in the house. He was resistant to bringing hospice in because he didn't want to admit the end was that near and said he didn't want "strangers" in the house. He wouldn't agree until my sister was unable to swallow pain medications. His resistance had nothing to do with religious or moral grounds.
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Which is terribly sad when you consider the fact that someone has to be actively dying to be approved for hospice.

Every person that enters hospice is believed to be sick enough to die within a half dozen months. Why people blame hospice for their loved ones death is mind boggling.

I don't know, would it be better that they suffered agony while they were dying?

I tell my dad, we will all die, it just doesn't have to hurt the entire time.

Someone being drugged to unconsciousness is sometimes the kindest thing that anyone could do for them. Can't have it both ways, awake and free from pain, some diseases are excruciatingly painful and oblivion is a blessing for them. It is terribly sad that people can not get past the loss to see how bad it would have been without hospice.
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And there lies the problem. Yet another family who did not understand hospice and their intent. Hospice is all about keeping the patient comfortable. They give the family meds to administer because that is who is providing the hands on care, either the family or the caregivers the family hires. A hospice nurse cannot come every 1-6 hours to administer meds. That is why is left to the family/caregiver to do it. The meds are not there to hasten the process. It is not euthanasia.

Most religions are against suicide, doctor assisted suicide and euthanasia. So that is where religion can play a impact and result in hospice being refused. I think we are all aware, just by some of the threads on this forum, that quite a few people believe hospice is euthanasia.
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Billygoat:  I read your comment and truly believe every word you said.  My family went through the horrific experience with my dad at home.  We also hired 24/7 care for his sake and ours. 
Be careful before accepting hospice into your home.  If your gut tells you something is not RIGHT, get another hospice.
So many regrets....yes, I feel like once I read your comment, I am experiencing PTSD also.
The Catholic religion does not accept any type of physician or nurse assisted deaths.  However, the first day Hospice came into my house I was handed a bag with "comfort care" medications.  I was instructed to give for pain or restlessness.  What were  they:  Morphine, Haldol and Lorazepam.  I am not a nurse or doctor.  Because the Hospice nurse has to travel to get to us, they want us to be able to administer the meds.
I think this is wrong.  However, I'm sure Billygoat would have gladly administered them versus watching the pain his mom was in. 
These are Hospice's drugs of choice "kit."  Maybe it absolves them of responsibility if family administers.  I REGRET and feel AWFUL about EVER giving my dad any of these.
I know I went off subject.  When a doctor states that you only have 6 months to live....based on your illness or their prognosis, Catholics must consider that the LORD is the only one that decides the time.
Some may call it false hope, unable to accept reality....but there is NO ONE on earth that can accurately predict death.
So be very careful.  I don't really believe this is about any religion.  It is about honesty taking care of a loved one.  It is about THEIR wishes.  IT IS ABOUT FOLLOWING THEIR ADVANCED DIRECTIVE. 
Please do not give up their right to full code.  Do not let Hospice talk you into changing the advanced directive for their conscience.
Sorry this happened to you Billygoat.
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Cali and Barb,

The Catholic faith also sees value in suffering but totally recognizes palliative care. Our priest did an ‘end of life’ seminar recommending hospice as a wonderful option. This particular priest was once a chaplain of a hospital. All priest have philosophy degrees and theology degrees. He took it further and received a psychology degree. It was a wonderful seminar.
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Islam Barb. Islamic religion has believes that suffering may be beneficial, that end of life suffering is seen as a way to purify sins.
But they also believe that terminally ill people don’t have to take extraordinary measures to live either.
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I'm curious about who would resist hospice on religious or moral grounds.

Are there religions who think that a painful, anxiety ridden death is a good thing for a person? Or for the family?
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Yes isthisreallyreal, this is the same person who got rid of her belongs despite her asking him to wait until after she was gone. In my opinion he’s a pathological liar but he did tell the truth at times. I do believe that hospice did say something about stopping food. The day it happened, we came over shortly after the nurse had left and he was all worked up about it. I know that he could have made it up but I don’t feel like he did, he was pretty open with me, about everything going on because I was the only who took the time to talk to him about what was going on, I was the only one asking questions. That’s the only time he ever said they wanted him to do something. Of course there could have been other incidents he kept to himself. The only incident was a few weeks later at the beginning of her last week when she declined and they knew she wouldn’t make it to the weekend, we know this is true because he called here and I spoke to him first and he was crying and told me that ‘MIL wasn’t doing good, that hospice wanted to turn down the oxygen and start morphine at regular intervals and that he told them he refused to do it. He said that the nurse needed to speak to my husband, her POA. So he called her & she did tell him that it was time to turn down the oxygen and start morphine in order to keep her comfortable.

Have to share this, shows what a liar he is. When my husband confronted him about the $20,000 taken from MILs account the day she died, one of his reasons was that it was reimbursement because he had sold his truck for that amount & given it To MIL to buy her car. He said that since my husband was given the car, MIL wanted him to have the money for it. We knew that wasn’t true, he sold his truck months after she bought the car and having already looked at the bank accounts, we knew that she sold her little Nissan for $5k and use that money as the down payment for the new car. There was no $20k deposit made. And she made monthly payments on the new car. A few weeks after he repaid the $20k, I found out from my mom that over Christmas, he had told her and my dad that the courier company he worked for had bought him that truck! That truck cost about $40k maybe more and he told them that his employer told him to go down and pick out whatever truck he wanted! That was a big lie too! He made monthly payments on that truck and we know it because we could see the payments on the bank statements!
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My mother was in a Hospice in Ontario for her last 3 weeks of life. I was really pleased with how the staff treated her. She was told that if she wakes up in the middle of the night and wanted something to eat, they would bring it to her. With that being said, they told the family that when she does not want to eat or drink, not to force her. So for the last 4 days, she had nothing to eat or drink because her body just didn't need it. I walked in on my aunt trying to force feed her. I asked her to stop as she didn't need it.
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Oh cali, I meant an actual hospice facility. My bad.

Are you talking about the same person that cleared all of her personal belongings out in hours after her death? I don't think I would trust anything that he said.

Sounds like you all went through h3ll with the passing of your mom and her insignificant other.
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Nor do certain Hospice organizations...especially the one who failed my poor mother in her worst time of need. :(  Not all are like that (or so I hear) but, I can only vouch for the one we used...to our regret to this day.
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Yes Rovana, I think the way it is explained to the family can make a world of difference. But there are still some who still won’t understand or be able to come to terms with it. We all tend to interpret things in our own way right? So I truly do believe that to some people who are in the midst of losing a loved one, interpret being told that their loved one no longer needs food and water as being told their loved one is going to be starved to death. That they will be denied food and water. I agree it’s not denying them.

There are a lot of nursing home residents on hospice. There’s no statistics that prove most are at home. It will probably vary by nursing home and/or hospice provider but when my FIL went on hospice, they took over his managing care. The hospice nurse was in charge, not the nursing home staff. The hospice nurse handled meds, decided what and when he would get them and all of that. I believe my BIL was consulted but he was pretty uninvolved.

For those on home hospice, being that the hospice nurse and social worker are the “experts”, many families rely on what they say and follow their guidance. In our experience, hospice definitely managed and guided my MILs and they made suggestions. We followed most of their recommendations/suggestions. There came a day when the nurse did allegedly tell her partner to stop giving her food. I can’t remember exact when this was, she passed on June 1 and I believe the suggestion (I personally think it was a suggestion, I don’t think he was TOLD to do anything) to stop food probably happened around the end of April or Early May. I think at that point she was showing signs her digestive system was starting to shut down but she was still eating, albeit it very very small amounts. Her partner didn’t explain why they “told” him to stop feeding her, but we did discuss that it was eventually going to a point where she didn’t need food and water, that her body wouldn’t need it anymore. And I told him that food would cause her further discomfort because her body wasn’t going to be able to digest it. And he wasn’t buying it. He was adamant that he would keep feeding her. If he didn’t feed her, he said she would die. I honestly think that in her last 3 weeks of a life, those few bites she would take, were to keep him/us happy. She wasn’t asking for food anymore and if she did eat, she ate a few small bites. She got very constipated, was in a lot of discomfort probably because her body couldn’t digest the food. Suppositories and laxatives weren’t working and hospice wanted to give her enema but she didn’t want that. The last week of her life, she didn’t eat at all. She stopped having bowel movements 2 weeks before she died if I recall correctly. to be honest I am surprised he wasn’t pushing for a feeding tube, but I think he knew it was absolutely out of the question because she would never agree to it. When she lost her appetite, he had it out with hospice over getting her an appetite stimulant. They refused to give her one, it was a nasty blow up. Eventually they got him a prescription for one but he had to pay out of pocket for it at the pharmacy.

I think that some people are simply unable to come to terms with what is happening to their loved one and no matter how you explain that they don’t need food & and water, it’s not going to make a difference. Some people really do believe that if they keep eating, their loved one will continue to live. For some, maybe that is true. For my MIL, food wouldn’t have prolonged her life. Not even by a day. Not eating didn’t speed up the process either. She died because her body shut down and her heart got weaker and weaker as she took in less oxygen. Food wouldn’t have slowed the process, lack of food didn’t speed up the process.
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My sister was never denied food or water, she did reject food and water the last couple of days. It was obviously very uncomfortable for her body to eat and drink.

Considering that very few hospice patients are in a facility and not at home or with loved ones 24/7 how can anyone think that hospice is withholding anything? If this was happening it would be the caregivers and they are not hospice, nor does hospice give them their orders, it is family or fudiciaries.

Unfortunately there is to much misinformation spread about hospice, for those of us that know, I think that we are responsible to share with those we run across that don't know.

This is a perfect example of knowledge is power. I can't wrap my head around compassion and letting someone die a natural death being morally wrong to any religion, none I know of object to comfort care. Some religion won't let any treatment be done, but you can die naturally and it is all good, even though you didn't have to die.

I think forcing food and water is far more morally questionable.
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Worried in Cali: I don't think it is in fact food and water being denied - when the body is shutting down, it cannot use food/water. These things that we need to live cannot any longer be used by the body to continue to live. In a sense, they are no longer "food and water" in a commonly understood sense. Does it help, do you think, to explain it that way to someone who is having moral problems with end of life?
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When my brother was in the end of care hospice facility they were very good to him. He wasn’t interested in food or drinking at the tail end of his life.

I will always be grateful for the care he received from the hospice nurses. I wanted to thank them but wasn’t sure how.

I ended up speaking to the receptionist and during our conversation she said they work so hard and endlessly gave to others.

When time allowed they would run out to a nearby restaurant to grab a bite to eat. Problem was solved. I bought gift certificates for local restaurants and a bouquet of flowers.

Of course, we are not expected to give anything to them but I know from my own experience that whenever I received an unexpected gift for my hard work it meant so much.

Watching my brother die in hospice was an eye opening experience to me and the nurses impressed me greatly so I was moved to show my appreciation.
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No hospice doesn’t withhold food and water from people who ask for it. You would think that they do just based off some of the stories told here but that’s because of poor explaining by hospice? Or Families that don’t understand it perhaps?

Its at the end, when they no longer WANT food and water, when the digestive system is shutting down. They aren’t given appetite stimulants, an IV and a feeding tube. They are simply kept comfortable. That is what I was talking about. That is the point in the process that many do not understand and that from what I read here, hospice tends to fail to adequately explain and it causes a lot of angst for the family. Because they don’t understand that their loved one no longer needs to eat. And it is that practice, of basically stopping food & water, that goes against some religious moral grounds.
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Hold up!

I find it extremely difficult to believe that a dying person would be denied ice chips/sips of water and would be told no they cannot have pudding or ice cream if they wanted it.

Does hospice actually *withhold food* and *withhold water* or is it that the person no longer wants food/no appetite and no longer wants to drink water/not thirsty?

I am very concerned that this is among the common misconceptions about hospice.
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Sunny I said below, it’s not a particular religion that forbids hospice, it’s that some hospice practices go against the moral grounds of some religions—like witholding food and water.
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It's not just the families who are the problem. It's the many doctors who avoid having compassionate yet frank conversations with their patients and the families about palliative care, comfort measures, prognosis, hospice, and yes the big D i.e. D-E-A-T-H.

Just this week I got a call from an old friend whose grandmother was in the ICU getting worse and worse and worse. She was beside herself with grief at the sight of her grandmother getting worse. Neither she nor her brothers were talked to about palliative care until two days ago when their grandmother was at death's door. Yet for two weeks she said the doctors told her they "had a plan" and "let's wait and see if it works". Seriously? It took doctors 2 *weeks* to determine that this lady needed hospice?? That's 14 days of pain and decline and all sorts of disgusting details that my friend told me, which I will not describe. My friend said she wouldn't treat her dying dog the way her grandmother was treated.

Horrible. Awful. Yet it happens every single day.
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I'm not sure what it is that holds people up to this option, because, I'm not aware of any religion that prohibits it. What I have noticed over this last year in my community is that multiple families who have a family member who is dying, do not call hospice at all OR they call the day before the death. All of these people are aware of the option, but, are just not using it. In listening to the family speak after the death, I keep hearing from them how shocked they are at the death. This is for people whose family member had terminal cancer for many months, sometimes years, and who had been told there was no treatment options left. So, WHY the family is in shock confounds me. I can only assume that it's denial and that if they bring in Hospice, they are admitting it's terminal. So sad, because, I fear there is unnecessary suffering. What can we do to better educate people about this?
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I'm so glad my dad is now under Hospice care!! He's been in memory care facility for 2.5 years now, can barely walk, eat or speak. I cannot tell you how many times he said he would never, ever want to linger this way (it is the same path as his mother). I am hoping Hospice can bring this to a sane and kind closing. Last year there was talk of goosing my dad with a pacemaker and I said absolutely not! Cruel and heartless to keep prodding someone along. My cousin's dad was given hip replacement as he was essentially dying from Parkinsons - this just caused pain and confusion. Ridiculous.
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I have never regretted a decision as much as I have when we agreed to put my beloved mother in Hospice at a huge, well-known hospital here in Michigan.  It was THE worst decision of my life.  Hospice promised to "keep her pain under control" which they did NOT.  They promised to watch her which they DID not.  I stayed day and night with her...trying to sleep with two hospital chairs pulled together as I could not trust this particular Hospice to take care of my mom.  Upon moving my mom to the "Hospice floor", she was IMMEDIATELY sedated and never woke up or spoke to me or our family again. (This was AGAINST her and our wishes!).  She would constantly scream out in pain (while unconscious!)...throughout the entire night with me running up to get the nurse to beg for more pain meds for my mom who was in excruciating pain from her cancer.  I can't tell you what a nightmare this ordeal was...for 13 nights and days.  It was horrific. I was diagnosed with severe PTSD from the "experience" which I wish on no one!

PLEASE check into the particular Hospice you may wish to  use.  I beg you to do same before committing to one.

Bless you all.
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Real,

That is exactly how I feel. If we put a dog down so they won’t suffer, why would we prolong suffering in a human being? Very good point!

We can still pray. Perhaps not for a cure or a miracle but to pray that there would be peace and dignity. Hospice is helpful because it is palliative care.

I personally would want as little suffering as possible for myself if I were dying so I would refuse feeding tubes to prolong my life, or any other life support and yes, I would want the drugs that are available to alleviate any pain or anxiety. I don’t see the value of suffering.
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I don't know of any religion that forbids hospice but I have run into people who do not understand about withholding food and water - they don't understand what is happening to the person as organs shut down. Like "I would die if I was starved..." but your organs are still functioning, not like a dying person who cannot process food and water. Also, there may be confusion about exactly how far along into active dying a loved one is. A patient rallying may lead to false hope. Better explanations would help.
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It’s not about religions not allowing hospice. Like Segoline said, it’s the moral grounds of religion. There are people who are against hospice or afraid to use it because some hospice practices, such as withholding food and water at the end of life, goes against the moral grounds of their religion.
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I can't imagine what religion doesn't allow hospice.

How can easing the death of a human being ever be frowned upon. We treat our animals better then that.
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Hospice would be good if they provided more caregiving esp to family's who dont have a strong healthy caregiver to caregive 24/7 in home Hospice where most pts would prob like to pass at (not all though). It would be impossible for us to put my Dad into Hospice if he gets any worse. It would be at home because he has a " thing" about nursing homes fr his Mother dying in one after being there for like 15 yrs. R.A. severe. So no one to reposition Dad in bed or chg diaper (if bed ridden an it would prob come fast for him. To fast for my comfort level rt now) in bed. Or even lift a leg for pillows. If he were to fall fr being so drowsy on pain meds (uncontrolled pain rt now) who would pick him up? An we call Hospice not 911 an wait for nurse while Dad could be screaming in agony fr broke hip, femur etc...! He is 230lbs. Im 5'3 an 122lbs an Mom def cant do it. Nearer end someone would need to be there pretty much 24/7. I have a family, husband an sons at home. I would have to move in to caregive an give breakthrough comfort meds if needed at any time . Day or night. Now I know why some families decide on in pt care. An no extra money to hire a caregiver at that level (here in Tx prob over 25$ an hr). Its an difficult decision. An physically some families cant do the caregiving.
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Well said and I agree. When we pray for God to ease the pain of our loved ones we need to be open to accepting the answer to our prayer in a form we may not expect. I believe that Hospice is often Gods answer to our plea.
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Segoline, oh I hope others read your suggestion.

But sometimes it is hard to break a religious tradition. And on moral grounds, its like discussing politics, hard for people to change their minds.

I know I never heard of hospice until I joined this forum years ago. I researched everything I could find, and when it was time for my parents to use Hospice, I couldn't say "yes" fast enough. Neither parent suffered.
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Also I have posted some things on the end of life thread, which may, I hope, May be informational.
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