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This happened with my Mom... she stopped eating. This went on for about 3 days. It was clear that hospice should be brought in. Her back caused her a lot of pain and the doctors finally admitted there was no longer anything they could do for her.

she had already refused drinks for 2 days before hospice eval. She was sucking on little sponges and swabbing the inside of her mouth.

you need to know that hospice does not starve patients...or refuse them drink. It happens when the body begins to shut completely down. Hospice had nothing to do with it.

The morphine was to control the pain she had in her back. Why live your final days in agony? Would you do that to your dog? Your Mom?

I think you whole question was trying to lead people to believe that hospice does this to cause early termination of their patients, Nothing is further from the truth, and the implication that they do is actually insulting to those of us who endured all those final days/hours with their loved one.
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lealonnie1 Aug 18, 2019
You are right............well said. When I read how hospice 'kills' people it riles me up because I had hospice services in for my dad who I loved dearly, and no, hospice certainly did NOT 'kill' him! What they did was they made his last days on earth bearable instead of filled with pain & agony, for him AND for us. When end of life is imminent, what on earth is the point in 'giving medications'......for what? To prolong their agony so they can live another day or week? Here in Colorado, we have assisted suicide, which I think is awesome, and something I'd use for myself in a HEARTBEAT to save my children the agony of the whole end of life debacle.
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Janiel, you and I are on polar opposites. That is why I have advanced directives specific to not wanting most interventions. If this is upsetting to you I strongly recommend a lawyer that you do the same. I worked in critical care medicine for more than 45 years. I worked with hospice 3 times already with each person making the choice on their own free will. I choose not to suffer, especially if I can no longer contribute to society.
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cherokeegrrl54 Sep 1, 2019
My feelings exactly, MACinCT..
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The person is being given comfort care. Stopping food or water usually me means the body is shutting down. They can be offered but not forced. The exception in withholding is when the person can no longer swallow.

The disconnect with some people is that they want to prolong the life of their loved ones without reguard to their suffering. It tends to create odds about who is being the selfish one...the person who is dying or the person who agonizes about prolonging life allowing the suffering to continue.

But you ask one other question. Stopping food takes a few weeks for death. Stopping water takes no longer than a week. I dealt with hospice 3 times. The person will sleep longer and eventually will become quiet. Try to communicate each day as if it is the last. Even though the person may not communicate, fill them in on the days activities. Do not be ashamed to tell them it is Ok to leave and that you will be Ok.
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That’s a broad question because that scenario can happen if you have surgery or you are at the end of life and on hospice.

in the case of hospice at the end of the life.....there comes a point where you don’t need food. Medications except those that keep you comfortable are stopped. If morphine is given, it’s the same dose they give you after surgery. It’s not s lethal dose contrary to popular belief.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Janiel, am I right in thinking that you have asked a leading question?

I think we can perhaps be more supportive if you would like to share what is worrying you specifically. Are you struggling with decisions about a loved one's end-of-life treatment at the moment, or something like that?
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My stepmother chose hospice for herself. She refused to eat or drink, refused a feeding tube and IV hydration. She directed me to arrange her hospice care and complete DNR. She could still decide to eat or drink if she felt up to it, which occasionally she did. But she was ready to go. Had had 2 catastrophic strokes that left her bed bound, no use of her hands, diminished vision, and no speech. She didn’t pass away for NINE MONTHS. So hospice is not always an immediate death sentence.

My MIL also chose hospice. She had an incredibly fast growing, aggressive and painful cancer. No treatment could help her. She didn’t want to delay the inevitable while also being miserable going through chemo just to give her a few more weeks. She also could direct when or if she wanted to eat/drink and if she needed pain medication up until a few days before she passed. She eventually was unconscious, but even before that she just didn’t want to eat much, she said it hurt her stomach too much. If she asked for a drink, she got one, but that diminished on her own account as well. For her it was 2 weeks for her to pass. And she was thankful as she knew the end was near she could say her final goodbyes to everyone.

Death comes for us all. At end of life, the body shuts itself down, one system at a time generally starting with digestion. I’d think we’d all like to end our time without pain and misery and the anxious hand-wringing of our loved ones. It’s not about the family and friends not wanting their person to die...they’re going to die at some point. And when death is imminent, send them off with love and peace.
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janiel Sep 1, 2019
absolutely send them off with love and peace . but hospice and "my sisters" just stopped giving mom food and stopped giving her medication to her and started giving her morphine . and i can't say for a fact but it seemed like they were giving it to her more often .(8hrs . 6hrs .. )THEN she fell asleep and didn't wake up . coma i guess ..? it was like 3 days . but they kept giving her morphine for those 3 days . i didn't realize what they were actually doing until it was too late . then within minutes .. seconds .. OH . MY . GOD . i knew . i knew without any doubt . my sisters and hospice killed my mother . i felt sick in my stomach . it was unbearable . i got outside my car and had to vomit . twice . this is not happening . my own sisters and hospice killed mom . unreal . nightmare . what am i going to do? i begged God and mom to forgive me . I BEGGED FOR FORGIVENESS FROM THEM BOTH . i didn't know . i had no idea . not even close . it was unimaginable . but truth is yes, beyond any doubt the three of them had intentionally, purposely and unfortunately legally murdered my mother . how can they sleep at night? how can they live knowing they did this? i wonder .
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Jeniel, please fill in your Bio on you Profile page, so that we can all understand your situation, and give us further details, if you want an honest answer to your question, otherwise you are just riling people up on an age old Hospice question that has been asked numerous here on the forum. Also, if you type in "Hospice, end of life care", you will find loads of advice on the subject.

We do know that nearly every one has questions about this issue when faced with placing a Loved one on Hospice and end of life care, I've been there myself a couple of times, so your questions are just as important as the next person, but more details are needed to help you. I hope we can help, God bless!
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There is no "right" answer to this question. It is antagonistic, imo.
The OP is new here, and may have already left the community, not desirous of an answer, or solutions to a situation.


rhe·tor·i·cal ques·tion

a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point rather than to get an answer.

The proof will be if the OP returns to explain. At that point, I would consider asking what Janiel's real question is??? Giving her the benefit of the doubt, and willing to support her.
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janiel Sep 1, 2019
it was to make a point.
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My 2 cents worth.. If I become bedridden and have health issues which cannot be reversed, and it's towards the end of the line for me, I may just ask forDoctor assisted help me move to Heaven, (hope that's where I'm going, if not I will just stay around and haunt my family :)

Nothing is fool proof. All we can hope for is a peaceful exit. I know some poeple who use this extra time to visit with friends and family, and make the best of it. That was wonderful too.
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It's really all been said here but just to clarify there is a difference between withdrawing food and not forcing food (same with fluids really). A person at the end of life, especially a very ill person will often stop eating on their own and if there is no recovery expectation it seems inhumane to me to force feed them. Likewise if a person is in their last days and you are choosing the humane (IMHO) way of letting them go it seems logical to me to stop forcing medications in them that aren't helping them, especially if they aren't eating or perhaps it's a tremendous effort to swallow, why force them to suffer more (or at all) unless of course it's to ease any pain or discomfort they might be having and that can be administered without having to make them swallow it or deal with stomach issues because they aren't eating with their meds. Offering an adult patient food, drink and even medications and then honoring their wishes about accepting or not seems a respectful thing to to do to me.
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