1SG...I know you know I'm not slow...just catching up! lol
Very good point you make about Wills, makes me think I'd better get after updating my own, and adding a DNR clause to it.
I commend you for being able to go to the effort of getting all your siblings signatures in order to carry out your father's wishes. Like many others too, I hope I'm never in that position. I know this is a terrible comparison, but a few years ago, my dog died of a sudden heart attack at 9.5 yrs. As saddened as I was by his loss, I was thankful I did not have to make a decision to have him put down. That's for my dog! A close family member I would be stressed to make that decision. I'm sure I'd make it if I had to, but I'd be torn. Good for you to have the strength of character.
Louis...I'm glad you added that 'certain time' clause before anyone pulls the plug on you! :-)
At a gym I used to work out at for years, a man 1 yr younger than myself (I swore he drank from the fountain of youth!) had been in a serious accident 17 yrs prior to our meeting. He had been in a coma for 8 months. When he came out of it, the doctors told his parents he would never walk again, and he'd be a vegetable. His words to me, "Do I look like a cauliflower to you???" lol He has a speech impediment, and thinks much slower, but he comprehends completely. When he first started working out at the gym it took him 3.5 hrs to complete the 1.2 km track...4 yrs later it took him 45 minutes to do one circle of the 1.2 km track. After this Terry case, I've told my kids...give me 1.5 to 2 yrs at least...unless I'm totally, unmistakably brain dead! :-) But I think I'd like to go quickly.
wellab...at home I don't get the news coverage that you receive, but last week I was in Mexico. Each morning while getting ready, or night (as nothing good was on) I'd watch CNN News. It was bad. Yes we should all state in our Wills or somewhere what we want if something should ever happen to us as did Terry Schiavo. But that isn't the only issue at hand...another important issue is that of dying in a humane manner. Just because we say we don't want to be kept alive, should we die a slow, possibly agonizing death until we are gone?
Terry could not convey to anyone what she was feeling, how do we know that for those 10 days that she laying starving and dehydrated she was not suffering great agonizing pain? As a member of the public it was painful to observe, it would be worse for her family.
I once picked up a lady and her German Shepherd who had just been hit by a car. It's back was broken. I drove her to an emergency Vet Clinic where the Vet injected him first with a pain killer (just in case), then a sleeping sedative, and finally the injection to put him permanently to sleep. He was gone in 10 seconds or less.
I think a similar technique is used on criminals in death row.
Each time I watched the news, I wondered what she was feeling...hunger pains? Day after day for 9 or 10 days before she finally succumbed to death. 10 days, not 10 seconds. I believe both issues need to be addressed.
In Illinois, it is illegal to reverse a DNR. When a person is admitted to a nursing home, they are asked (if they are mentally capable) if they want to be resuscitated or be a DNR. If they choose the DNR, that's it. No family member can reverse it...no matter what!!!
There was a time when a Living Will wasn't worth the paper it was written on. More and more people began making out a Living Will, and now it is a legal document, which is great.
SG, that happens alot. People think if they make out a Living Will, it is good forever, but as in a Last Will and Testament, if you're smart, you really should update on a yearly basis....simply to avoid what you had to encounter!!
1SG that is a very good point to pay attention to as you never know if each state has a different requirement or not. I think it is a mute point. If you have a condition like that then it should be obeyed whether it is 5 yr/10yr/ old. You will not improve only get worse. Legalities they continue to just totally want to run your life with you having very little say so in any of it.............
Tomi honey here is where i will disagree with you. If all the peices are right from the one who made the Will to the Dr. then she will have her wish done. If you have a Living will and a Dr. who can be swayed from a family member. then you will have a disaster. I have seen family members insist on using all means of "saving" the pt. even with a DNR. The thing that happens is the Dr. gets tired of listening to the family. The Dr. has not explained well enough what happens. He passes the buck to the nurses. He is afraid of being dragged in court. This is a sue happy nation. You are right it should never happen but i have seen it happen many times and we as nurse sit there and silently wish these family members and the DR himself would be in the pt. position. Being in Tx. i find the hispanic group the hardest to have DNR's on as they want every done even when it is hopeless.Maybe it is part of their culture.
I had a pt. whom was on her last 48 hrs. She has still not been made a DNR by family. She was old fragile and semi comatose. I called the Dr in which we had a problem of who had taken chg. of this case. First time i ever really got angry with a DR. I insisted she come there now and explain the entire procedure. (It is a Dr. responsibilty to explain a DNR not the nurse) She did ,the family changed her status to a DNR and withing 12 hrs. she was dead. Dr.s try to sometimes omit that procedure and leave it to us. NOT APPROPRIATE!.
I commend any Dr who will stand up to any family member at any cost when this type of situation arises...................S4U
Just a little something to think about as well, and if the laws are the same as when I encountered them, everyone needs to be aware and take action.
My father had a living will, all written up, etc with a Do Not Recusitate clause, etc. He did not want to be kept alive artificially. He was dying of Emphasema and one day, he had a breathing attack which put him in the ICU of a hospital in California. When I learned of this, I put together all of the documents we had shared, including a Power of Attorney and the Living Will, and flew to California. I showed these documents to the doctors at the hospital and began taking control of his care at that point. There was a problem with the Living Will - it was more than 5 years old, and the doctors said that the laws at the time required that all Living Wills be less than 5 years old. In effect, it was no longer valid!!! They also recognized that this probably happens all of the time, but they were bound by their requirement to keep him alive. We came to an agreement that if I could reach all of my brothers and sisters, and they all agreed (in writing and notarized), I could then have the support removed and allow my father to die. To make a long story short, I was able to do that and the machines were removed the following day.
It is probably a smart thing to review your Living Will on a regular basis to make certain that it is up to date and valid for all states - not just the one you live in. I travel a lot and who knows where I'll be when the time comes! I have no idea what happens outside the country for these types of issues.
LSL Your stories are heartwrenching and for those stories i can give you 3 more.It is too the point right now yes it would be a great idea for young people to make their living will out when they are young. As their ideas might change with time so can their LWill. With the stories you described. They each should have been let go. This is where either the Doctor has a God" complex and many of them do. Or the Family was too "selfish" to make that kind of decision. After all it is not them in that bed. I am sorry i have seen so much and so many with zero qualitiy of life and families want to keep them alive and i want to put them in that bed with their brain functioning well and see if they would want to live like that for the next 20 yrs. I can promise the answer would be 'NO' if it was them. But they seem to want to keep these people alive.It is quilt! It is I don't want to be the one to have to makes this decision. It is everyone deserves a chance. And All i can say is BS to it all!
Cub in answer to your question. I believe she had no immediate family and either it was like neices /nephews etc or either even the Dr. himself. had made her a DNR. So when a daughter comes from out of the blue even if it has been 20 yrs. she can reverse it..Again even the old have no living will.....
I totally agree. Some of the souls I have cared for I HOPE go to a special place. I find it hard to believe that families would let their loved ones live such torturous lives. I don't care who you are....you wouldn't want to "live" the way Terry did. That's not living...it is simply existing in a painful, contracted body.
Like you, I have held many, many hands that no one else wants to touch. These people were vital, loving human beings, until something catastrophic happened to them. Now no one wants to visit, sit and just talk to and touch this person........No one but US.
Cub......no family member can have a DNR reversed. It is that person's right to decide whether they want to be resuscitated or not, and it is irreversible. DNR means DNR!!!!!
Reading these posts tells me that we all feel the same sense of loss, of injustice, and of sadness that Terri was treated as she was. No one deserves that, and I know the family has had a terrible time with it all. I'm sorry for the Shindlers and the Shiavos and for all concerned, and sorry too, that things got so twisted around.....I would not be surprised to see something done in regard to a bill to intervene in cases like this in future........only time will tell, but that's what seems to happen in America these days. Terri, God Bless You and Keep you....what a sad week....Terri and now Pope John Paul.....in heaven now, we know. What a great man he was. He'll be missed. so very much around the world.
Make the decision for your loved ones so they don't have to do it for you.
They may not be able to make the decision you likely would like.
I am 44 years old, I have a living will, advanced directives and I am a No Code. My family agrees as well. Do it while YOU have the choice.
Every day is a gift.
Live every day as if it were your last, and you will have no regrets.
It is a great honor to care for those courageous souls.
I think there must be a special place where they go after such suffering.
This is too long a post,
but someday ask me about the angels I have seen.....
What has happened to Terry most recently in the news is not something that is unique to her case.
I am a nurse as well, and I have worked in many areas of heath care.
I cannot begin to descibe all of the horrifict states I have seen a human being in. In one instance a woman had only her body from the bottom of her ribs up, ALL of her vital organ were shoved up into her chest.. A tube for feeding, and surgially manufactured exits from what remains of waste.....alive we can keep them alive. At what costs, and I am not talking of money.
One unit I had a beautiful man, until you looked at the other side of his head which happened to be missing. tubes go in tubes go out.. a trach hooked to a respiration will keep you alive for ever.
The next bed over another beautiful soul lay. a 21 year old young man lay in a puddle of his own sweat.
Victim of an MVA, no seat belt roll-over with a devastating closed head injury. The injured area included the area of the brain the autonomic nervous system. His body was in constan neurological "storms" it was no longer able to regulate his body temp. Constant sezuires racked his body. The pictures on the wall were of a high school football player, senior year, helmet in hand. Mom at his side homecoming, proms.
No one comes to see his emaciated, bedsore ridden body, or to hold his hand. No one but the nurse who packs him in ice, pumps the morphine, valium, ativan and 20 other drugs into his tourtured body.
Nobody but the nurse loves him now as he is, that respects him for who he was, and treats him as such, with the dignity he deserves and should have received with death.
The moral of the story is not "wear your seat belt"
or " don't walk off a 40 ft porch because you are stupid and drunk".
the moral of the story is that everyone when they reach leagal age should have living wills and advanced directives, because there are worse things than death.
lucky so luck
A really disturbing part of this whole incident was the sleezy way it was handled by most of the media. Fox News sent one of their top newscasters to the town - Sith i think his name is--and had the daily, "Shiavo Death Watch". How demeaning and disrespectful can an organization be? It is a huge wakeup call to all of us to be sure and have our medical instructions in writing and properly documented through legal representation so this does not happen to us---or to our loved ones.
That we can put a criminal to death more humanely than we can someone we love to me is one of the greatest injustices of the world. It is something perhaps that hopefully due to this highly public case that perhaps more lawmakers will look into.
I agree that this is highly personal to everyone on an individual belief level.. and there is no right or wrong. I come from a standard that you cannot know how someone feels understand their views unless you know their story, and frankly no one has lived the hell teri's family has, only they have. Each side is out to prove their 'side', so of course the media and things being the way they are we only see what we are chosen to see. I personally have had the hell of having to deal with family members unsure of how to handle a loved ones situation. Luckily enough my mother had a living will so i had the ability to say enough.. but for everyone who thinks this was easy on michael.. keep in mind how many times you have seen someone who is in a vegetative state and said something to the effect of 'thank god that isn't me, i wouldn't want to live like that' or some other similar statement... these things come back to peoples minds when they are faced in this kind of situation.. keep in mind that man lost his wife to an eating disorder ( which i'm not even going to touch on the politics of) and instead of just losing her.. he too got thrust into a horrible life path.. something no one would ever chose, but is thrust into.. he is doing what he feels his wife would have wanted.. much easier to divorce her on grounds of her condition than to force himself into the 'villian' role and fight to do what he felt she wanted...
and yes i feel for the family, i've watched my mother struggle for breath.. knowing a machine could keep her alive and that it was her wish for her to not have to end up that way.. but it didn't make it any easier to stand there and watch.. my heart aches for anyone who has to go through it.. and in the famil...
I don't have a living will, but please mm friends, if I ever have to be a vegetable please make this my official verification that I do not want to survive by artificial means. I am being serious and my heart went out to Terry Schaivo. She used to be so pretty and maybe this will be a lesson for people that have anorexia. One day she was fine and the next, she lived a nightmare. We should thank God everyday how blessed we are. I am glad Terry is in a better place now without suffering. Soon the pope will be holding her hand.
Well, I have to say that it took a lot of courage for that husband to stand up to the parents. My sister and I were just discussing this....that poor woman had no quality of life! And where was that mother when her daughter was starving herself or making herself barf in the first place! She was sick with an eating disorder for years before making herself so sick that it stopped her heart. It's a very unfortunate thing and very tough for her entire family I am sure, but imagine that happening to your wife or husband and having to see them suffer everyday. How horrible for her kids.
Now I don't agree with the starvation thing, because the court could have ruled on injection or something quick and painless. But then people would have been outraged even more. The idea is and always was, that removing the machines keeping you alive and letting nature take it's course....is only natural! By injecting her, that would have been murder.
The biggest question is, where was her support from these family members while she was alive? Why didn't they get her help for her eating disorder? Didn't anyone notice the severe weight drop and many other signs of this problem? It didn't have to end this way at all. Intervention could have saved her life.....
I've had many conflicting thoughts about Terri Shiavo and what she and the family went through.....I do think it wrong for the government to step into a private matter like this...and what a man and wife say to one another is private, so whether to believe Michael or not...well, it could be either way. This all went on much too long. Yet I admire her family for their strength of purpose and their refusal to give up. I would hope to have someone love me that much! The past few days I have listened to so much about Terri that it was overwhelming....when it came right down to it, I just feel an incredible sense of sadness that something like this has to happen. There's no way to know the truth in what anyone has said, so I guess it's good that Terri is at peace now. It's too bad the rest of us aren't; this whole thing was very unsettling.
An 86 y/o lady with califlower CA became a PT of mine. She was so weak she could barely talk but she had her basic faculties still. She had been without an IV,Feeding tube for 3 weeks at that point. Her then Wt. was 86#. She would not drink but we would put a syringe of water in her mouth on occasion. She would always smile at us and she knew what we were saying and doing. (She would pull all tubes out everytime they put them in so the family and Dr. made the decision to leave them all out)) She would answer yes or no in her weak voice. I would pick her up like a baby and put her in a chair during the day. She was with us for 1 mo and 1 week. No water,food or IV. We then sent her to the NHome where she lived another 4 wks and finally died at 62#. A little over 2 mos without food or water and she died without pain. We all kept up with her after she left. She was an angel and she was also "our baby"............S4U
cont.- I think it was a sad day when the government got involved here.And i am sure this was a hard decision for all to make. When a persons feeding tube is taken out and they continue to go downhill there is no pain in that at all. Contrary to what you have heard on TV about "Starving" being painful. it is not. One of the foremost renown Doctors got on there Wed. and clarified those statements.This is a story where there will be much controversy and never a solution. Each of us just should look at our beliefs and become informed of every aspect and make the decision then. Most people can't comprehend why it should be done. But a medical person sees the other side and knows the day to day suffering. Again being informed is the key here. If you have ALL the info and still come to the same conclusion then that is what is right for you.
There is no right or wrong opinions.........My thoughts.S4U