Do not Resuscitate?

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,541
0
I have a moral dilemma and I think I know what I have to do, but I need your guidance as ever. Mum is again very poorly, she's in hospital, she has swollen up from the legs down and I fear it's to do with her heart or her kidneys. I think it is pulmonary edema but will await the doctor's diagnosis this morning.

Mum has had 5 heart attacks, a stroke, diabetes, the list of her ailments is endless and she's told me she has had enough. She is scared of pain, she is not scared of dying as has tremendous faith in God and the afterlife.

At the weekend I asked her if she had another heart attack did she want the doctors to resuscitate her this time and she was adamant that this is not what she wants "Just let me go, I've had enough suffering" was her answer and she has, that is true. She has been so ill, she's had no quality of life now for at least a year and a half and they can't make her well, all of her conditions are degenerative.

Do I tell the doctors to broach the subject with her so she can confirm what she wants and get DNR on her notes, or I am a wicked daughter for even thinking about not making them fight for mum? Ten years ago the fight was on and I believe it was the right thing to do, she saw her grandchildren grow up and they will have precious memories of her, I have no regrets about making the doctors fight for her then, but now?
 

sistermillicent

Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
2,949
0
i would have a chat with the ward sister and say exactly what you have written here. She may be better able to approach the subject with your mum or may be able to advise or get the subject brought up in some way. And you are not a wicked daughter.
 

Butter

Registered User
Jan 19, 2012
6,737
0
NeverNeverLand
Your mother seems to have made her wishes clear, you understand the reasons for her wishes too, so I think you are right to talk to the doctors. They may well be relieved, as it is a very difficult topic for them to start. They are afraid of upsetting you and afraid of being accused of not caring.

I went to a discussion with a palliative care consultant recently. She made it clear that the doctors are struggling to get this right.

We decided not to have my mother re-admitted to hospital eventually and I wish we had done so sooner.
 

BeckyJan

Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
18,971
0
Derbyshire
In our case I agreed DNR when David first went into respite and then confirmed it almost yearly there onwards when he went into a NH. The nurses who first approached the subject with me openly said how relieved they were although they understood it was upsetting.

Throughout David's journey I consulted with his GP and always felt reassured that the decision was the right one. Most of all I knew it was what David wanted for himself.

I suggest you speak to the Drs involved and the Ward Sister telling them exactly what your Mother has said to you.

Your Mother has sensibly stated her own wishes and I think it would be more wicked to deny those.

Thinking about you at this very difficult time.
 

Pottypeg

Registered User
Aug 4, 2013
908
0
67
Ashbourne, Derbyshire
When my dad was admitted to his assessment unit in January 2013, he had about 3 weeks where he would not eat or drink( thought it was poisoned) the doctor spoke to us as a family (mum, sister and me) and said there was not a lot could be done for him if he carried on, we agreed to DNR and also said we did not want any force feeding, eventually a lovely nurse sat with him one day and offered him a crisp, he said it was too salty, give me a drink of water, after that he never looked back, just this simple act at that point saved him, but the DNR is still in place and we all feel it is for the best, sorry for the rambling post but dad is still with us and in the last week has put on 0.1 of a kilo, not much but to us it's a miracle.

Anne
 

tiggs72

Registered User
Jul 15, 2013
142
0
I have a moral dilemma and I think I know what I have to do, but I need your guidance as ever. Mum is again very poorly, she's in hospital, she has swollen up from the legs down and I fear it's to do with her heart or her kidneys. I think it is pulmonary edema but will await the doctor's diagnosis this morning.

Mum has had 5 heart attacks, a stroke, diabetes, the list of her ailments is endless and she's told me she has had enough. She is scared of pain, she is not scared of dying as has tremendous faith in God and the afterlife.

At the weekend I asked her if she had another heart attack did she want the doctors to resuscitate her this time and she was adamant that this is not what she wants "Just let me go, I've had enough suffering" was her answer and she has, that is true. She has been so ill, she's had no quality of life now for at least a year and a half and they can't make her well, all of her conditions are degenerative.

Do I tell the doctors to broach the subject with her so she can confirm what she wants and get DNR on her notes, or I am a wicked daughter for even thinking about not making them fight for mum? Ten years ago the fight was on and I believe it was the right thing to do, she saw her grandchildren grow up and they will have precious memories of her, I have no regrets about making the doctors fight for her then, but now?

Hiya

You are definitely not a wicked daughter - it sounds as though yr mum has realised she has no quality of life, from your description she has been through so much and resuscitation is only prolonging the inevitable and possibly leaving her with more issues to deal with. I would chat to the nurses as soon as possible to make sure her wishes are understood.

I really feel for you as it's a tricky subject to face into but yr mum seems like she has decided enough is enough

Hugs

T x
 

meme

Registered User
Aug 29, 2011
1,953
0
London
I think you make sure her wishes are known and followed...that is the love of a good daughter
 

LYN T

Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
6,958
0
Brixham Devon
Hi Noorza

This is a very difficult subject and I feel for you having to come to a decision over this.

I have DNR on my Husband's file based on a conversation we had years ago before he was ill.

I found it very difficult to come to this decision and had to consult with family and friends as well as having to take advice from my Husband's consultant. (she didn't advise me any way but just told me the prognosis and I took on board what feeding tubes etc would entail)

Your Mum has made her wishes clear-I also have no fear of dying especially if Pete has left this world. It's how I die that worries me. If P has already reached the Spirit world I would be happy to join him.

Take care and a deep breath and as you always do think of your Mum's wishes.

Love from lYN t
 

zeeeb

Registered User
If that's what she wants, and it seems clear that she does want to end the fight, there is no choice but to bring it up with the doctors and put palliative care on the agenda for discussion and implementation. Anything else would be going against her wishes. Sometimes its the kindest way to allow them to give up the fight.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
74,351
0
72
Dundee
I agree with others. I think your mum has made her wishes clear and in your heart of hearts you agree. I would talk to her doctors and tell them exactly what you wrote in your first post.
 

sue38

Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
10,849
0
55
Wigan, Lancs
I'm sorry about your mum and the difficult decision you are faced with.

I have dealt with end of life scenarios for both my dad (who had advanced dementia) and my godfather (who had bladder cancer).

I felt the approach was very different. With my dad the question of whether or not to resucitiate was brought up by the medical staff very early and having resolved on a DNR my dad was only given palliative care.

It was a different story with my godfather. Without actually telling me he didn't want to be resucitated he made it clear to me that he was fed up of tests and scans and wanted to be left in peace. The hospital staff however still had him booked in for all sorts, and I couldn't get him discharged to a peaceful care home we had found for him and his wife. The different approach may have been because it was a different hospital, but I suspect that they saw cancer as something more 'fixable' than dementia, and were just carrying on with treatment without stepping back to see the wider picture. He had no more quality of life than my dad.

It may be that if it's your mum's heart, rather than her dementia, they may plough on with the usual treatments, so I think you need to make your mum's wishes known as soon as possible. They may also be concerned about upsetting you by bringing up the subject, and it may help them to know that it's something you have considered and discussed with your mum.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,712
0
North West
When my dad was admitted to his assessment unit in January 2013, he had about 3 weeks where he would not eat or drink( thought it was poisoned) the doctor spoke to us as a family (mum, sister and me) and said there was not a lot could be done for him if he carried on, we agreed to DNR and also said we did not want any force feeding, eventually a lovely nurse sat with him one day and offered him a crisp, he said it was too salty, give me a drink of water, after that he never looked back, just this simple act at that point saved him, but the DNR is still in place and we all feel it is for the best, sorry for the rambling post but dad is still with us and in the last week has put on 0.1 of a kilo, not much but to us it's a miracle.

Anne

I agree with all that has been said about respecting wishes relating to DNR.

But, on a related point, Anne's post reminds us how important it is that no-one jumps to conclusions in these complex situations.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,541
0
Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply to me. I do agree with what everyone has said, I know she's had enough, she said to me yesterday that she wants to commit suicide. She won't as it's against her beliefs but that's how bad she feels and it's not going to get any better, she knows that.
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,534
0
South Gloucs
I agree with all the other posters but just wanted to add something little - when an elderly aunt of mine (no dementia as far as we know) had a heart attack she was resuscitated and subsequently recovered and went on to live a while longer. However she always said that she wished they'd 'let her go'


I think you're right to approach a difficult subject and you have some wonderful advice xxxx
 

jimbo 111

Registered User
Jan 23, 2009
5,080
0
North Bucks
Hello Noorza
You have my deepest sympathy for the dilemma you face
It is unfortunate that you are left with making the decision on your mothers behalf
You obviously know your mother well , you are a caring daughter and you know your mothers wishes
Before saying anything further (as an aged parent myself)
I would suggest to you that you make everyone aware of your mothers current wishes and accept without any guilt or recrimination that you as a loving daughter are giving her what she wants
My late wife suffered with Alzheimer’s and other ailments
She had a sudden ’silent’ heart attack ( I’d never before heard of this )
But I was told at the beginning that there was no hope of survival
My wife was a very determined fighter ,and she lived for a further two weeks . the doctors were amazed that she lived so long with a fatal heart condition
During that time I pleaded with her ( not that she could hear me )
to let go , she was 80 years old ,
I know your situation is different but the reason I am responding to your post is . That my experience taught me that I should make my sons and medical people aware that I did not want DNR or other treatments that stopped my death by prolonging medication
I am comfortable with the knowledge that I am not leaving the decision unfairly to my sons
I have completed a living will which describes quite clearly my wishes about resuscitation ,etc My sons and doctor have copies .
I am not a well organised person ( and my age 84 does not help) But since my agonising experience with my wife’s death I have
attempted to ensure that my sons are not left with agonising decisions ,
I have made my will , made a living will , paid for my funeral. completed a power of attorney . And as I jokingly now say all I’ve got to do now is die
I am perfectly in tune to your mothers wishes , and sincerely suggest you make others aware of them as soon as possible
To conclude
To any other members ( particularly those in my age group ) who have responded or viewed your thread .
Spare your loved ones the agonising and make a Living Will and DNR

My thoughts are with you and I hope you will be at peace with doing as your mother wishes
jimbo 111

PS The following links may be of help

https://www.google.co.uk/search?sou...1T4GGNI_en-GBGB551GB551&q=DNR+or+Living+Wills

Should I have an advance directive?
By creating an advance directive, you are making your preferences about medical care known before you're faced with a serious injury or illness. This will spare your loved ones the stress of making decisions about your care while you are sick. Any person 18 years of age or older can prepare an advance directive.

http://familydoctor.org/familydocto...directives-and-do-not-resuscitate-orders.html
 

min88cat

Registered User
Apr 6, 2010
581
0
Gosh, it is very difficult isn't it? but it would seem that your Mum has already decided what she would want for herself.

We had to decide when MIL was seriously ill in hospital whether to put a DNR on her records. We spoke at length to her consultant who quite honestly went into fairly graphic detail about what an invasive and violent act attempted resuscitation is, resulting in broken bones and other things.

We decided at that point that MIL would not want that for herself.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,541
0
I asked the nurse tonight, very upsetting, and she said that as mum has been diagnosed with dementia and I am next of kin I could sign the forms. I asked Mum vuery gently and she said tonight if she said yes she felt God would be cross with her for giving permission to end her life. I didn't argue I just said I'd respect her wishes. I am not going to sign it when she feels like that as I don't have her permission but I think I will write a letter explaining how she feels, all honest and truthful, with how she feels and then leave it to the doctors to decide.

I know it's a fudge but if she now says she feels it would be wrong due to strong religious beliefs, I won't override that. In all honest she wouldn't survive another heart attack of that I'm sure.

I have to be guided by mum on this and I'm not going to make a permanent decision until I am sure it's what she wants. Thanks everyone.