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My wife died in hospice care. They said she would pass away within 24 hrs. She remained alive 25 more days, during which time they wouldn't give her food or water. She died of starvation.

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From my understanding in hospice, there are no lifesaving measures to be taken as there is an understanding that this is the end.  That being said...they would not have put in a feeding tube as that would have been a medical support keeping her alive and not the natural course of things.  Sadly, she stayed alive longer than she was expected, but from my understanding of hospice care, this is not abnormal.  If they would have put her on a feeding tube and tried life saving attempts they would have had to transfer her to a skilled nursing facility.  I could be wrong, but that is what my understanding was when were spoke to regarding hospice options for my grandmother a number of years ago.   I am sorry for your lose and hope you come back to see some of the answers here and know people are here for you...even across the internet.
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Sure, you can sue anybody for anything these days.

I would not. She lived much longer than expected, which is not terribly uncommon. It is hard on everyone, no doubt.

I suggest finding a way to accept it and let it go.
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This is an older post, and from what I can tell, the OP hasn't returned to offer any further insight into what happened or didn't happen, or his position, what other action he took, etc.   That's not a criticism, but a suggestion that he hasn't returned to follow up on his question and may not even be aware of the answers that were posted more recently.

There is a point I'd like to make though.   One of the factors in considering merit for filing a malpractice suit is the loss sustained, on both a financial and emotional basis, or at least that was the case a few decades ago.   Someone whose livelihood is affected has a stronger basis for a suit, and an award.  

And, unfortunately or not, actuarial tables have been the basis for estimating those kinds of losses.   And another unfortunate fact is that in this cold financial assessment, older people do not have the same life value as younger people do, just by virtue of being older and less likely to live longer.

Another issue is the emotional loss of related parties.   Clearly the OP has sustained that kind of loss, but any defense attorney could counter that he was already aware of her terminal state, and the loss suffered by her having "lived" (albeit not in the best circumstances) longer would not be the best argument for damages or liability against the hospice company.

I do hope that he's been able to find some peace and to move on; I can't imagine the agony of anticipating death for that long.
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I am sorry for your loss.

May you find a way to move forward in your life.

Whomever told you 24 hours was out of line, they don't know how long and that is what they should say.

I can see that you are distraught, but think about what you have said, she was only supposed to live for 24 hours and she lived for 25 days without food or water. Why didn't you give her water? Food? I am not trying to make you wrong, I want you to look at the situation as it was, not what you are now feeling.

My sister wanted hospice and IV fluids, they were very clear, if you can't take it by mouth you don't get it on hospice. Anything requiring a needle is treatment and you have to get off hospice for that to happen. No IVs.
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I sympathize and found your post while asking the same question. I experienced something similar with my dad. I truly believe their objective was to hasten death. People don't understand when you are medicated for pain - you can not remember to eat or drink. You often can not think of eating or drinking, or even ask for it - that is why after major surgeries most people have IV fluids. A hopsital would never think to just let you lie there starving/dehydrating while treating your pain post surgery. Our hospice experience was just awful. I fought with them to provide IV fluids and nourishment that they said was possible at time of sign up, In fact, everything they sold to us was scoffed at by our assigned nurse. She would say "we don't do that" and "someone misinformed you". NOT my problem - it's your hospice's problem - read the darn booklet - it's in print and what they used to sell the service to us. I wanted to sue them for my dad's sake and for all the sleepless nights they've caused me. However reading through the responses above the one thing that holds true is that the process of suing is not worth the heartache. I once went through a malpractice case. I thought it would be therapeutic as I had developed PTSD from my experience but it made things much worse and prolonged my suffering. Everyone would like to think there is justice in the court systems but it is so twisted and everyone is coached to lie and avoid blatant truths. In my case, the defense lawyers were seemingly all about money making and had no moral compass. It will make your head spin at how fast they can twist things and delay, delay, delay. You think you will are getting close to them telling the truth but then comes the rehearsed "I do not recall"'s . They will pay experts (i.e., other doctors) lots of money to say what they need them to say. The best way to find justice is to share your story - review the hospice facility online in places like google and other websites - just be sure to state on facts that you can prove and use phrases like "in my opinion" and avoid defamation/libel suits. I'm very sorry for your loss. Please know your loved one is at peace now and wants you to find peace in knowing that you don't need to get justice because Karma will deal with every one of them in it's own sweet time. Trust in that and find peace. That is what I'm going to try to do.
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That is why family members or paid caregivers are with someone on hospice, to take care of them. Hospice care is not 24/7, it is minimal and on call, it is up to us to make sure that our loved ones are getting their needs met, that is not what hospice is about. They are making death less painful and traumatic.

I am sorry that your dad didn't have anyone to explain how to care for him and his needs in the end. That is shameful for the people of the hospice he used.

I pray that you can find peace and comfort for your loss.
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She may not have been able to drink or eat. When dying, the body starts to shut down. They can no longer swallow. Eating or drinking does nothing because the body no longer can digest either. I am surprised your wife lasted as long as she did.
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hospice usually ( at least in our case ) confers very closely with the patients primary care doctor . i think you should ask her doctor about their actions . its possible the directives were coming directly from him or her .
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Gosh, I'm so sorry 4 what u went thru "innocuoustech". It's definitely not a good idea to sue the hospice in my opinion, just cuz it would perpetuate ur own suffering, (for years maybe). There may be lawyers who would do it, but I gave this same advice to my own mother, when she began a lawsuit (wrongful death) when my sister died from malpractice years ago.
Why re-live it: in depositions ect, when you have enough to grieve already? I'm the first one to believe you & agree that hospice misrepresented things to you, & extended your suffering, at least. But terrible injustices sometimes can't be fixed, & we must remind ourselves that we did our best. Not knowing, & trusting 'alleged medical experts' makes us full of regret sometimes. It makes me angry & despondent, if I were to dwell on it.
(I myself chose a surgeon, years ago, based on my PC Dr referral...& he ruined my ability 2 do my job 20 years ago. Found out years later he'd done the same to many others.) I hope you will PM me to talk further, if it wud help u
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No. She was in hospice because she was expected to die. Were you her POA? What are the reasons she was not given food and water? Was she at that point unable to swallow? She could not have stayed in hospice had tubes been placed for feeding and administration of fluid; that would have moved her" from "comfort care" to "treatment".
Did you not expect your wife to die? Had she been ill for some time? Did you request that your wife have fluids? It is very unusual to last more than one week without fluid of any kind, but the administration of even very small amounts of fluid can prolong a death by many days.
In general people think they can sue over just about anything. But the truth is that today recovery is very limited by law. Under 300,000 usually in most states for medical malpractice and personal injury. Which means that lawyers will not take very expensive lawsuits on contingency because they cannot make any money doing so.
For the most part the only suits that are taken on today are injury to a YOUNG person with a GOOD career that either robs family of his GOOD salary, or in case of injury to him requires lifelong care. It is almost always impossible to sue for negligence or malpractice in the instance of a very elderly person or a very ill person, because, to be blunt, the death is to be expected. And all the more so when the person has entered hospice.
I am so sorry for your grief. Do know it is sometimes easier to be angry than sad, and it is one reason we so often seek to "blame". May I ask your wife's condition when she entered hospice, who requested hospice for her, and who her POA was? Did people in hospice endeavor to explain things to you?
Very few things other than time can heal our grief. I am so very sorry.
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When you sign up with hospice care, you agree to take no lifesaving measures for your loved one, since it's agreed they've reached the end of their lives. Nobody knows 'exactly' when another person is going to pass away, not even hospice.....they make educated guesses based on their experience.

You had every right to fire hospice and start feeding your wife, or bring her to the hospital for care, if that was what you wanted to do. That being the case, I don't see where you have the right to 'sue' hospice for any wrongdoing, as they were doing as they always do in end of life situations. You may want to consult with an attorney to be sure, however, as I am not in the legal profession.

My condolences for the loss of your wife. All the best to you as you process your grief at this difficult time.
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