Mom doesn't want tests done that doctor wants her to have? Her wish is to die. Do I just let her have her way? - AgingCare.com

Mom doesn't want tests done that doctor wants her to have? Her wish is to die. Do I just let her have her way?

Follow
Share

some anmia was found tdr wants her to have colonapthy{ sorry cant spell that}. her wish is to die what ever in her !! brother does not agree and he is upset with her and I. do I just let her have her way?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
29

Answers

Show:
If Momma aint happy, no one be happy.

Seriously, your Mom has a right to say NO.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Recommend contacting your local Hospice. They can help your mother make informed decisions. My father wanted to refuse all meds, until the Hospice nurse explained his options and the outcomes. He's now taking his meds. However, he does refuse invasive procedures and most medical tests. It's his right to make an informed decision. Thanks to Hospice, he did. Good luck with your mom, and take care of yourself too.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

I had a showdown like this with my father. He had rectal bleeding, but wouldn't go to the hospital. I asked him if he wanted to lie there and bleed to death. He said yes, but changed his mind a few hours later. My father accepted the colonoscopy, but would have needed heart surgery before they could operate to remove the cancer, and chose, at age 85, not to be treated. His dying was not beautiful, but it wasn't a nightmare of surgery and chemo and lots of trips to the hospital.

I think the answer is that it depends. If Mom is 97 with dementia and is quite frail, then she is probably correct that there is no benefit to doing a colonoscopy - putting a camera up her butt. If Mom is 66 - my age - and is strong enough for general anesthesia, then finding and fixing a problem seems a lot more worthwhile.

Is the doctor sensitive to her age and condition in suggesting this? He is suggesting the treatment he would give to any patient, and may not be considering her condition. Lots of doctors don't know that much about the best treatment for frail elders. Consider getting a second opinion, and take her to a geriatrician.

Does your mother have a clear picture of the possible benefits of treatment? She may have a horror of having a colostomy bag, so she should know that that can be just a temporary part of treatment. Does she know that they might be able to cauterize a "bleeder" during the colonoscopy, leaving her "good to go?"

I can understand how your brother feels. No one wants Mom to die, but no one wants her to suffer through treatment that won't help anyway. He should talk to the doctor to understand the risks of the colonoscopy. If she is frail enough, she could possibly die, or the colon could get torn, resulting in terrible complications.

Ask if she could get B12 shots for the anemia, or blood transfusions to keep her feeling better without the risks of the colonoscopy. That type of treatment could satisfy everyone.

Getting more information may not be able to "cure" her, but it can help you to know that everyone is making a good decision based on the big picture, and what's best for her. God bless you all.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Your mother is not in this world to live up to your expectations, or your brother's. It is her body. The oncologist insisted the without chemo and radiation I would only live a year. In 2009 at age 55 I chose not to have any of that done. My husband respected my decision and I accepted no interference from any of my family. Now here it is 4.5 years later and I am still on the planet and other than a few age related complaints, I am healthy. When my MIL was told she was in kidney failure she, at 89, she refused to have anything done and we took her home, made her as comfortable as possible and enjoyed her final days with her. She died peacefully in our arms, surrounded by all her loved ones. Yes, we miss her terribly but I am so glad that we did not force her to succumb to our wishes. Make your peace with your mom in whatever way you need to and respect her wishes. God Bless
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Mom has the right to say "No"
The Dr has a duty to offer these tests. Of course everyone should have a colonoscopy every ten years starting at age 50. BUT there can be serious complications such as infection and piercing the colon thus allowing dangerous bacteria to enter the abdominal cavity. The benefit is early detection and treatment of colon cancer which is a major killer. Does she have rectal bleeding, if it is bright red it is probably hemorrhoids. If the stools are dark red or black the bleeding is higher and should be investigated but the patient still has the right to refuse. Bleeding in the gut can have many causes not related to cancer. The preparation is not pleasant and the procedure can be very uncomfortable if not painful if insufficient sedation is not used. Sedation is another big danger for the elderly. I will add that I have always refused a colostomy and will continue to do so for numerous health reasons but I probably would change my mind if there were indications of trouble and I was still generally healthy. As long as mom has the facts and fully understands the dangers please support her decision.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Oops - patti - I accidentally answered this question by posting to your wall, please go there to read that.

But as I reviewed everything here, I only see that your mom has anemia and the doctor wants to do a colonoscopy, is that right?

As has already been covered, colonoscopies are harsh. Even the virtual colonoscopy, which is more modest, still requires prior evacuation of the bowel, which includes laxatives and fasting on clear liquids. Not aw very comfortable scenario for an 84 year old woman with diabetes and other issues.

Has the doctor done a fecal smear to test for occult blood in the stool? Has she's been given blood tests to discover if the anemia is iron based, B vitamin based or actual blood loss. Does your mom take any blood thinners (coumadin, plavix) or NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofin, alleve, celebrex)?

If she doesn't want the testing, she could the given a transfusion that would make her feel better temporarily. Sometimes when a senior feels bad, they think they're going to die and they decide they are willing to. Other times, they may allow treatment when they feel better and aren't believing they're going to die anyway.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I also have a difficult brother who does not understand our parents' conditions or the issues a caregiver faces.If he doesn't want to get involved, except to criticize, then he is a detriment, not a help. Why can't inactive family members just leave well enough alone? Don't have the answer to this, nor do I know how to deal with it except to finally ignore the crude comments. Perhaps they are struggling with losing our parents too, but they just don't want or know how to be involved in ways that support the family. As long as we know, in our hearts and minds, that we are doing everything possible to keep our parents comfortable, and to carry out their wishes, the arm-chair quarterback comments really shouldn't matter. Stand up for yourself and your mom's rights and go forward. Sending an extra bundle of strength and courage.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

for the last year of her life my mother refused curative medical treatments. its hard to fathom but im not 81 years old and tired and sick. she was never a dummy. she refused chemo treatment after a gross masectomy too, 34 friggin years ago. chemo was even more experimental and damaging then than it is now. whatever her rational i learned by reading that the recent discovery of a mass on one of her kidneys was indeed inoperable at her age. the removal of one kidney will destroy the other and thats if her heart would hold up to the anasthesia and major surgery, which it would not have. even with advanced dementia she made a damn sound decision. she died on her terms and it only makes me respect her more..
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Although mom is 94, she doesn't want cataract surgery, dentall care, or hearing aids. Also refused skin cancer treatment & help ini the home. She's lucid, coherent & can make her own decision. Period. AS heartbreaking as it is for me as her only child (I've been by my parents side distance wise my entire life - very close to them)I've been respecting her decsions to refuse treatemt. They still take CBC & some other blood tests, & she's on portable oxygen, but really that's it. My point is your mother has the right to refuse treatment - but do make sure she understands the consequences of her refusal. My heart goes out to you & is with you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My case has similarities. It's come to the point that if Mother doesn't want to follow PCP & neurologist advise. AND continuously gripes when I and others 'harp' or 'pick at me' to follow those professionals' directives, then it comes to a point of let her do as she pleases. Informing Mother that she is the one to pay the price isn't necessarily totally true. Decisions she makes effect the family as a whole, though it's not understood by her. Dementia is, as most are, an unkind friend (foe) that is pledged to the demise of more elders each year. Though the diagnosis here was only given this year, Mother has been racing to the finish line. It's to the point for me that if she wants to continue this reckless course, so be it. That may sound harsh, but the reality is that she has made the decision. I will continue to offer as much support as possible, but will not, not continue in the vein of being a task master.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions