What is the problem with my MIL?

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MIL had open heart surgery in August; she is 80...lifelong smoker with the beginning of COPD. After surgery, she was moved to rehab, it was determined that she'd had a small stroke either during or right after surgery. She has refused rehab, won't even do in bed PT, says she has no energy. She refuses to eat, says she wants to die. My BIL who is the health care proxy says that he wants to honor her wishes. (!!) She talks in a whisper, or mostly must mouths words; she will occasionally take a bite of food that someone brings in, makes faces when she tastes the RH center food. The social worker at the center says (at least according to BIL) that she's not depressed. Isn't wanting to die when you're not really ill with something terminal the definition of depression? What would any of you do faced with this situation. My husband is reluctant to intervene; the last time he tried to tell his mother that what she was doing was bad for her health she threatened to have him charged with Elder Abuse. Oy

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Sadly, my mother in law died in November 2012. My poor husband is still dealing with his unresolved loss. Thanks for all the helpful comments.
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The one thing you cannot save a person from is themselves.
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Part of this is my problem; I like to fix things, and I don't think my husband and I are getting the whole story, or at least not an accurate one from BIL. My solution right now has been to cook some food that I know MIL likes and have sent it with my husband; it at least gives him something to do while he's there; it's absolute torture for him to sit there while she just lies there "waiting to die". When she's not dying of anything. She was placed on anti depressants after the surgery (as are all patients, I believe, if they consent...my husband had his aorta and aortic valve replaced several years ago, and I can't imagine what his (and my) life would have been like without them. But she's off them now since she's off everything but pain meds. Thanks for listening!
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I've seen several elderly with depression after heart surgery, even much younger patients suffer the same thing. There is also something called hospital physcosis. My Mother gets this anytime she is in the hospital for more than a week.

The stroke may well have left her very weak.

Hope all goes well!
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