1. Loiner

    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
     
  2. Sandy

    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
     
  3. Loiner

    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.
     
  4. inmyname

    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
     
  5. daughter

    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.
     
  6. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    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
     
  7. Sally

    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
     
  8. Brucie

    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.
     

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