To know when to stop

Loiner

Registered User
Oct 29, 2005
73
Leeds, UK
hi, I've been thinking a lot these past few months, and now with mum getting the medical intervention she is, I want to pose this question:
Should medical intervention be halted at some point?

I've seen this before with a mencap patient who was on my long stay ward. She had stroke after stroke and they kept bringing her back, and I thought to myself, it should be left to God now, its gone on long enough, eventually she couldn't be brought back, but it was a hard time on the staff and on her.

I think there is some part of mum that is fighting because she wants to be left alone. Oh I can see all the psychiatric and medical side, but that doesn't take into account her wishes, I think thats why she was asking to go home so uregently this weekend just gone.
But, the law is the law, and sometimes I think the law needs to be reviewed, to restore a little dignity and compassion
agree or disagree?

hugs
David
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
Hi David,

Sorry to hear that you and your mother are going through such a difficult time at the moment.

The Alzheimer's Society does have a position paper on palliative care that you might want to look at:

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/News_and_campaigns/Policy_Watch/palliativecare.htm

An added difficulty is trying to distinguish the difference between truly palliative care, as in the case of a terminal illness, and a health crisis that might well be resolved with the right, possibly agressive, medical intervention.

Take care,

Sandy
 

Loiner

Registered User
Oct 29, 2005
73
Leeds, UK
that is 100% how I feel.
I totally agree, mum is terminal and to keep her hydrated and fed with a tube to me is a gross indignity.
The thing with mum is we talked about it 2 years ago after a prog on TV and she said she didn't want to live like that, fed through a tube, and now they might do it.
 
I

inmyname

Guest
I agree with you Loiner that to keep things going in that way is an indignity for anyone and i suspect that is precisely why despite her dementia somewhere deep down your Mum wants to come home and escape the medical interventions

Unfortunately it seems that our society deems otherwise even in the face of a living will .

To me personally its quality over quantity but that is not the general view
 

daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
Hi David,

I've been following your posts and wanted to say how sorry I am that things are not good for you at the moment. I don't really feel qualified to comment because I have not been in your position and really cannot say how I will feel if/when my Dad is in the same situation as your Mum. It must be so difficult. All I can say is that I'm thinking of you. {hugs} Hazel.
 

Kathleen

Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
639
66
West Sussex
Hello

When Dad had a massive stroke 15 months ago he initially saw a doctor who had seen him a few months previously and he did a scan and after talking with us re Dad's wishes, put in a fluid IV and oxygen only.

A young consultant took over his care a few days later and put in a feeding tube which caused Dad stress and did not work as the feeds came back up and had to be constantly suctioned off, further distress.

After a heated discussion with the said consultant, who insisted he had to preserve life at allcosts unless a living will had been made, and a lot of help from the nursing staff, we called in the original consultant who wrote Dad a final care plan, the feeding tube was removed and Dad died peacefully a few days later.


Although at the time we were asking the consultant to let Dad die sooner rather than later, it was the decision he would have made.

You have a tough time ahead and I will be thinking of you, I understand exactly what you are going through and it is awful.

Look after yourself and Mum,

Kathleen
 

Sally

Registered User
Mar 16, 2004
114
London
living wills

It is very traumatic watching a loved one slip away especially when you feel that they would have wanted to have been left to die without intervention.

The passing of the Mental Capacity Act means that doctors cannot ignore living wills (in fact they could not ignore them before and case law testifies to this) as they are now recognised in statute law. But unfortunately a family member relating a conversation they had with the patient years/months ago will not suffice as a definite guide to what the person would have wanted. However, the doctors, through their legal responsibility to act in the best interests of the patient at all times, ought to be listening to this sort of information while making his/her decisions about their treatment.

People can challenge the doctors by making a complaint or going to a Court as the parents of the premature baby, Charlotte (if memory serves correctly) did to get a final direction on what is the best way forward. Doctors will then have to demonstrate their reasoning in the case and explain their actions. People's views on end of life treatment are very personal but ultimately doctors need to be able to demonstrate why they felt they were acting in the best interests of the patient. it is a very tricky area hence people need to start thinking about making living wills now themselves.

Sally
x x x x x x
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Jan has no living will but I have already discussed and agreed with the doctors at the home and the associated hospital the point at which they will stop intervention.

Of course, we will only know the true situation when the time comes, but, after close association with them over the past 4 years, I believe what they have said.