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Thread: Morphine

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010



    Can anyone tell me what Morphine actually does please ?

    At the end of my mothers life I was orally administrating her with it and I cannot stop feeling that I speeded up her death, the guilt is very hard to explain but I feel that I in a way I killed her. The care home where fantastic and the nurses very kind.

    She had fallen and broken ribs and got a little better then fell and banged her head. She never really recovered and went down hill very quickly in the end but when I gave her the morphine she drifted away but was obviously still feeling pain and her eyes gradually stopped looking at me.

    I have tried to write this a few times but always deleted it.



    Is guilt the most frequent word on this forum ? it shouldn't be as you are all the most fantastic people.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    cornwall/real name is Angela
    Hi,don`t worry at all about the morphine you administered orally.

    Oral morphine is a very weak form and would not have contributed to your mothers death.

    Oral morphine is a pain killer,no more , no less.

    There are lots of scare stories about morphine speeding up death,that is all they are.

    My daughter has been on oromorph quite regularly for dental pain relief post operatively,it may make you a bit drowsy but it won`t kill you.

    The guilt will ease in time,but you definately didn`t contribute in anyway to your mums death.

    Best wishes, Angela.
    `As we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same`



  3. #3
    Hi Duncan

    Angela's right, morphine is used as a pain-killer for severe pain.

    When someone is already dying, and is on the liverpool Pathway, they are often given morphine via a syringe driver. This may hasten death, but when someone is in very severe pain, and there is nothing more to be done, keeping the person comfortable is the priority. Oromprph is much weaker.

    Please don't feel guilty. No-one will know whether your mum's life was shortened, but would you rather have left her in pain?

    My husband was on a high dosage of morphine via syringe driver, and I was glad that he was kept comfortable right to the end.

    You have absolutely nothing to feel guilt about! The doctor would not have prescribed if it was not necessary.

    All the best,


    Don't grieve for what you have lost, rejoice for what you have had.

  4. #4
    Hello duncang

    I was on very large amounts of Oramorph for pain relief as well as other very strong pain drugs and im still here. So dont worry it was nothing to do with what you gave your mum.

    Caring and guilt go hand in hand. You always want the best for your loved one so if you feel you have not given or your loved one has not received the best you feel guilty.

    I know at the moment im racked with guilt. Deep down i know my mum would be telling me not to be stupid. But its because we love them so much we feel guilt. One thing is for sure and thats no one can say we never loved them with all our hearts and thats all that really matters
    Last edited by simonmonty; 06-09-2010 at 06:19 PM.
    just a son who cared for his mum
    My mum on people treating her like she was stupid! "Just because I have memory problems it dose not make me stupid"

  5. #5
    Hi Duncan,

    I'm glad you posted instead of deleting again Duncan.

    Had the same feelings, along with a mixed bag of confused feelings when mum died. Still get the confused feelings now to be honest, but see it in a different light. Mum didn't want morphine but I could not bear to see her in pain any longer and the nurse in charge of End of Life care explained everything carefully. You are not alone feeling like this, but ultimately morphine and other end of life drugs can stop a lot of suffering and pain. Mum had morphine patches and other meds to easy painful breathing in the last few days. It haunted me for months and guilt is a hard thing to explain, because it doesn't make sense!

    The mind plays horrible tricks at this time and try not to listen. Try to celebrate the good parts of her life and all the love and care you gave your mum.

    A very wise member told me to stop using the word 'guilt', she let me slip in the word 'regret' sometimes, but guilt is a no no and just a horrible side effect of the grieving process in my opinion. It is important for you to find peace and it won't help using words like guilt. And by the way, I no longer feel any regret about the morphine, no one should suffer in pain unnecessarily.

    Kindest Regards

    p.s. Duncan, you can read a lot of other peoples stories / experiences in the 'After dementia - dealing with loss' section.
    I got tons of support there when mum passed away. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by CraigC; 06-09-2010 at 10:08 PM.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Thank you

    Thank you all

    Craig I think the word you used and I have never thought about is haunted.

    That really describes the feelings I have been having perfectly


  7. #7

    I really do believe it is grieving playing tricks on you. It seems a very unfortunate part of the process. It helps a lot to find someone to talk to about it. Feel free to drop me a PM if it may help.

    Kind Regards

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    Craig I think the word you used and I have never thought about is haunted.
    Haunted is a very good word. I think when we are grieving, our sadness makes us remember the bad times, and wonder what we could have done better. We all have things we could have done better, because we're human. But for me, asking for, or administering pain relief is not one of those things. There was not much I wouldn't have done to ease John's suffering.

    Duncan, I don't suppose for a minute that anything we've said will stop the haunting, but it may help if you can see the pain relief as a good thing you did to make your mum more comfortable?

    And the other thing is to try and think of all the other good things you did for your mum, and all the good things she did for you.

    I'm not saying it will be easy, as Craig said, the haunting is part of the grieving process. But remember your mum loved you. I'd say she was grateful to you for easing her pain. And she certainly doesn't want you to be suffering now.

    Take care of yourself for your mum's sake, you were a good son to her.



    Don't grieve for what you have lost, rejoice for what you have had.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Skye View Post
    ....but when someone is in very severe pain, and there is nothing more to be done, keeping the person comfortable is the priority....You have absolutely nothing to feel guilt about!
    I agree. Our loved ones battle Alzheimers, and our own battles are with Guilt and Sorrow. These can be overcome by having a strong belief that we Loved.




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