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August 16, 2008

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KansasGirl

This country is losing it's moral compass. May God have mercy on our souls.

sean

I witnessed a hospice nurse give morphine to my wife's aunt (who was bedridden by a stroke). She died minutes after receiving the morphine. I honestly believe the nurse killed my wife's aunt. I thought about pushing for an autopsy, but don't want to burden my wife's family with the accusation.

G

my Dad just passed away while under Hospice care. I believe they killed him. After leaving the hospital to go into a nursing home because the hospital said he was not ready for hospice, he was very alert and strong to live. He'd whisper to me about others that were dying when in fact my siblings had planned an end to his ownlife. My Dad refused physical therepy and was then put into Hospice. Since I spent alot of time with him, and not the usual 45 minutes once a week as my siblings would do, i know that if he was tired from a poor night's sleep (up to urinate alot) then therepy and food intake would be affected, as would be with any of us. My brother and my sister were his proxy, and acting as his proxy before he was declared incapable of being his own. (he tried to contact his lawyer to be his own proxy, and in a meeting at the nursing he said he wanted to be his own proxy, but it was too late, they already decided to end his life.)Again, ignoring his wishes when in fact they were not legally his proxy at that time. I was constantly threatened by my siblings as i tried to help my Dad speak for himself-i.e. be at his own meeting, to which they had another meeting immediately after the one he was at in order to arrange his death. My Dad was an inconvenience to my siblings-their time share properties, their retirement days etc. and the money from his will would become less for them to have if he went on living with the nursing home costs. My Dad had COPD and was on oxygen, but no pain. He was in a wheelchair but wanted to keep using his legs to maneuver himself and he wanted to go to the bathroom himself, get himself into bed himself, dress himself etc. but was told they'd bring in the poice if he kept trying to do for himself. He became very intimadated, having to wait 20 minutes or more to go to the bathroom and would sometimes mess his pants while waiting andbe embarrassed. He'd tell me how he had to wait to go to bed, one night from 7:50 until 9:40 to get into bed. He was nervous that if my visits were long, they'd make him wait even longer for his needs to be met and like him even less than he felt they did. My Dad was taking 8pills or more, all at once, no throat closing up as they said it would, in order to justify the need for morphine. One Monday, i was going to take him to his favorite place to eat and told i could not take him although my siblings were not declared as yet his proxy--one week later, he is dead. I found, consistently, his oxygen would be on 0, or not hooked up after a nebalizer treatment, and he would then be without oxygen for hours before my discovery. i found the nebalizer cartridge-filled-on the floor near his bed. With these constant errors, i wonder what else was done to him. I was not allowed to see his medication, and then they were taken away and he was sedated to sleep,and morphine administered-when in fact he explicitedly said no morphine to them. I wish I had pursued an autopsy to verify he died from a morphine overdose-but being threatened to even my visiting him, makes a person not able to pursue what is right when wrong has been done.

christina bowen

I honestly believe with all my heart that if Hospice had not been in charge of my mother's care, that she would still be alive today. My mom was 70 years old and had cancer. We are well aware that this is a terminal disease, yet she was no where near the end of her life.

My mom had bone cancer in both of her upper legs. She was in a wheel chair so it was hard for her to travel. She was also on bottled oxygen. After several months of consideration she decided not to take anymore chemotherapy or radiation. The only thing she needed was something to control her pain, because the cancer was not going to go away. On September the first I took her to see her oncologist for the last time. They decided together that Hospice could provide her with the care she needed from here on out. On that day my mom was of sound mind and doing well. We left the doctor's office and went out to dinner together.

The next day the Hospice nurses came to the house for an evaluation. They took control over all of mom's medications and instructed us not to call 911 in case of emergency. Everything from here on out was to be determined by the Hospice physician. They immediately increased her fentynol patch from 50mcg-100mcg. They increased her oral pain medicine from 30mg oxycodone to 100-120mg oxycodone per day.

The changes started immediately. At first she seemed to be "high". She was sleepier than normal, kind of nodding out all the time. Started being confused, loss of appetite, and had trouble swallowing. We called the Hospice nurses and reported the side effects. My sister and I was convinced that she was receiving too much pain medicine and that she might even overdose from it. They insisted that it was just a part of the final stages of life. Even though no one ever came to the house to check her out.

As time went by the side effects worsened. She started having trouble breathing, sweating, and even hallucinations. She finally went into a coma. We were on the phone with Hospice constantly trying to seek help for our mom. We knew that she was being overdosed but again was told that it was a normal part of the death cycle.

On Sept. the 8th Hospice finally showed up at the house. Mom was in a coma and unable to take her medicines. They insisted that she was just in her final stages of life and the morphine had nothing to do with what we were seeing.They said she must continue to take her morphine, so they went to the pharmacy and ordered a liquid form to be administered. She died later that evening.

I know cancer kills people. I know that my mom was going to eventually lose her battle and die, too. But I also know that she was not there yet. She was just in pain, she wasn't dying. So in a time span of 5-6 days, our mom went from being an independent, strong willed woman, to a child like infant, and then finally just gone.

I blame myself for allowing this to happen. Looking back I know I could have done something to have prevented this. I should have followed my instincts and removed the patch, stopped the oral drugs, and took her to the hospital against their instructions. But I didn't. I let them kill my mom.
So, for anyone reading this, I beg you to please, please, think long and hard about signing a loved one up for Hospice. And make sure that you are ready to say goodbye when you do.

***************

Dear Christina,

We are so sorry to hear of your Mother's death. You have our deepest condolences. However, do not blame yourself for what happened.

I want to tell you something amazing. When my wife first saw your comment to our blog, I was in the middle of writing a column exactly about this subject. I was taking a break and my wife found your comment waiting to be posted. In addition to posting your words as a comment on our blog (RFFM.org) I am going to include your poignant words in a column I am writing for the Illinois Family Institute's web site (www.illinoisfamily.org) at this very moment. I posted a letter from someone else who believes their Father was also killed by Hospice care. Here is the link to this person's sad and similar story: http://rffm.typepad.com/republicans_for_fair_medi/2010/08/some-hospice-care-providers-enforcing-state-sanctioned-euthanasia-through-probate-courts.html

I believe God is at work here. Please believe your Mom's death will not be in vain. Hospice care providers are putting people to death who do not have a terminal diagnosis. I know your Mom had cancer, but some hospice providers are killing people who do not have immediate terminal diseases, like Alzheimer's. This is part of the culture of death which has permeated our society. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know it had to be very hard for you to write this, since your Mother just passed recently. We will keep you in our prayers.

God bless,

Dan & Julie Zanoza
RFFM.org

Pat

My mother died on October 14, 2008 at 73 years old. She had Parkinson's Disease and was a breast cancer survivor. My brother had put her in a nursing home 2 years after my dad died. I am the only daughter but lived 14 hours away. My mother and I were always close and talked almost every day. She began to complain with her fingers hurting and turning dark at the end of July; she loved art and was doing some form of paint or colors all the time. Mid August, she was diagnosed with Gangrene in those fingers. She was in and out of the hospital until the end of September when she was sent back to the nursing home under Hospice care. When I arrived, she was only able to communicate with the blinking of her eyes. Her fingers looked like charcoal. They had taken all meds from her. She was rigid and unable to move. I gave her a drink of water and she acted as though she had not had a drink in days. Two days later, I asked her if she was hungry and she blinked for 'yes'. She ate 10 to 12 bites and drank water. The nurse came in and I shared what I thought was good news. She (the nurse) was very agitated and told me my mother was to have "NOTHING by mouth." The last dose of morphine the RN gave her was much larger than previous ones. I knew it would kill her. The RN never had eye contact with me that day; she knew it would kill her as well... We had talked many times by phone about Mother's condition. She had listened to me cry with every call. She knew how much I loved my mother. During that time, I was hurting so much and trying so hard to be strong for Mother, I failed to see the facts. Once I got home again, it hit me like a brick. They killed her. I had begged her to not go to the nursing home, but to come and live with me and my family. She would not because that was her home and my dad was buried there. I will forever feel guilty for not MAKING her come home with me. I am thankful for the many times I was able to go and spend weeks and months at a time with her. But I will regret the time I spent watching a group of people kill her with morphine...

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