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The patient is assessed and the proper careplan is drawn up. In my experience, liquid morphine with Ativan or some other tranquilizer is administered as needs be by the care givers. Daddy could bareky swallow and getting a small dropper of liquid morphine in him was hard--he'd choke on it. They did give him a cream or fel form of Valium which is rubbed into the thin skin of his inner arm. It was absorbed through the skin fairly quickly. (I didn't think to wash my hands after applying that and I would sit by dad and watch TV and half the time, we'd both conk out. I was also having a peaceful afternoon.)
Hospice does not hasten death. It makes it more humane.
When it comes to a patient who is dying, I would highly recommend that Hospice be called. Hospice is experienced in what pain meds work best for the situation. Their job is to make the patient as comfortable and pain free as possible. Hospice is paid via Medicare.
If you are trying to do this without professional care, and the patient is on different meds for the COPD, one has to be careful about what pain meds to use that are compatible.
Both my parents were on Hospice, and it made my parent's transition very peaceful. And Hospice had a 24-hour call service if you have any questions or concerns.
If they are not on hospice or actively dying, my suggestions would be talk to their doctor to see which pain killers can be prescribed to help with pain.