Has a health care proxy ever questioned their decision for end of life care decision on behalf of their parent's wishes? - AgingCare.com

Has a health care proxy ever questioned their decision for end of life care decision on behalf of their parent's wishes?

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On May 1st my mother, who had COPD fell and broke her hip. The decision to operate was made both by my mother and me. My mother was unaware that she would have to be placed on a ventilator with a breathing tube after surgery. I knew, but without agreeing to post surgical procedures they would not have performed the surgery and she would have become bedbound, in excruciating pain in a nursing home. I knew my mother's wishes about end of life decisions and how she would want to live plus I had her healthcare proxy directive that stated such. I only allowed the surgery to go foward because I could not have my mother suffer in the pain of having an unrepaired hip fracture. Unfortunately, they could not wean my mother off the ventilator due to her end stage COPD. The living outcome would be that my mother would live off a ventilator with a Tracheostomy tube in a nursing home. I knew my mother would not want this. I had to make the difficult decision on her behalf, to remove the breathing tube hooked up to the ventilator and let nature take it's course. She died two hours later peacefully with family around her. She died May 10th of 2014. It has been a month and a half since she past and I am still questioning if I made the right choice. She could still be alive today if I had chosed differently, but with significant decline in her quality of life and what she would want. I cannot get past the idea that I held her living or dying in my hands. I know this is want she would want in my head, but my heart feels elsewise. How do you come to acceptence on the decision you made to end someone's life that is what they wanted, but unsure in your own heart?

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Second guessing is just part of the process. You honored your Mom's wishes (as we did) and that is as it should be. I feel it is very selfish of family to prolong the life of their loved ones. Quality of life should be the important factor not quantity.

It's is tough to lose your Mom. Hugs
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Debralee I'm so sorry... Please be comfortaded in the fact that you did exactly what your Mom wanted...Hugs..
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Debralee, your mother made you her health care proxy because she trusted you with exactly that kind of life and death decision. You faced impossible choices, and you did it bravely and conscientiously using every ounce of judgement you could. Your mother was right to trust you, and I'd go further to say she would be proud of you. I'm just sorry for how hard this must have been.

So I can appreciate why you would want to protect your children from such a deeply painful experience; but I think you have to let them make the choice of whether they would be prepared to do what you have done. You have set them the best possible example. If they agree with us that what you did for your mother was an act of real love, maybe you should allow them to accept the responsibility if they freely choose to - and hope that they will never have such terrible decisions to make.
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Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. Having a healthcare proxy is important, but being one can be so difficult when making decisions. I know I honored my mother's wishes, but it still can be heart rendering. My daughter said she could make those decisions on my behalf. Not so sure I would want her to have to make that difficult decision. If there is a way to make those end of life decisions without involving my children, I would gladly like some advice.
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Debralee im so very sorry i just cant imagine the courage it took to do this but as pam says you respected your mums wishes as i would do if i was faced with this awful decision. Shes at peace now and looking after you now just remember that my dad died a few months ago he went quickly in minutes from a heartattack i am so glad now even though i never got to say goodbye but i believe there are no goodbyes we will all meet again one day thats what keeps us going! Hugs!!
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Oh, Debra. SO sorry for the pain you are in and the fact that you are second guessing yourself. You did exactly what your mom told you to do when she was younger and stronger, she trusted you to do the right thing, and you did it, as excruciating as it was to take on that responsibility. Be at peace with her, and with yourself.
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So sad Pam but you are so right and well written. I would never prolong my mums life artificially. Lucky i know my siblings would agree too, i pray i never have to make that decision but we just never know whats going to happen.
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I still remember that last dose of Morphine and Haldol as I dribbled it into my daughter's cheek. She was pale from loss of blood in end stage Leukemia.
You did not end your mother's life, you stopped artificially prolonging it. You did not cause a death, you just stopped avoiding the inevitable. You did not deprive her of anything, you gave her peace, you gave her comfort and you gave her freedom from the prison her body became. You did good.
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