|Hugh & Michelle Finn in happier days before she killed him
with the complicity of Annaburg Manor in Manassas.
This article would be more accurately titled -- How My Son was Murdered with the Complicity of Hospice. We've seen it before -- spouses who vowed to be faithful "in sickness and in health" murdering their husbands or wives. Michelle Finn and Michael Schiavo could be the poster couple for these medical murders.
I also have a personal friend who described how her mom helped kill her dad who suffered from Alzheimer's. He was living at the time with my friend's son, only two door away from her in the same cul-de-sac.
Every day, my friend's son took his granddad for long walks. He was doing well and things could have gone on like that for years, but my friend's siblings talked their mom into putting him into a nursing home where, yes, they administered Ativan and other drugs until he became an unresponsive, drooling, wheelchair-bound invalid.
And then they killed him.
My friend couldn't even bring herself to go to the funeral and the family is in chaos today because of the deliberate murder perpetrated by the compassionate mistreatment of family members who couldn't wait to kill dad softly with the help of a medical staff supposedly dedicated to caring for patients and treating them with dignity. [This isn't to condemn all hospice organizations and nursing homes, but there are too many examples not to see that hastening the death of "useless patients better off dead" is widely practiced.]
My own mom died in 2002. She spent the last few months, from August to December, in my care and my husband's with hospice and local nurses aids visiting. I asked mom not to sign the DNR and I was very careful about administering the drugs in the Hospice package which included all those mentioned by Judy Bragg in her article. I urged mom to take the pain killers as needed, but no more, and could tell by her expression when she was in pain. She tried morphine once and it gave her hallucination and such bad dreams she never wanted to take it again. That was fine with me. We found an alternative in a pain patch that worked. She was active during those months and enjoyed visits from her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She participated in a luncheon at my house with author Donna Steichen and a visit to a nearby town for a lecture which she didn't want to miss. She read books and enjoyed the peaceful surroundings of our home in the valley. My husband treated her like a queen. Our pastor visited several times and gave her the last rites and a lay parishioner brought Communion almost every day when she could no longer go to daily Mass.
It was a hard and painful time as we saw her condition deteriorate, but a blessed time as well. She was awake and aware until the last day of her life when she slipped into a coma. I was praying the rosary at her bedside when she took her last breath. I called the on-call Hospice nurse who came and confirmed her death. Then my oldest daughter and I washed her body, dressed her in her prettiest nightgown, and called the funeral home.
One memory makes me smile. The men who came to take her body asked if they could zip up the body bag. (It was a sensitive question.) I laughed a little it seemed so ridiculous and replied, "I don't think she cares." I will always be thankful for those blessed months that gave me a chance to make up in a small way for all the thoughtless little neglects of my mom over the fifteen years after my dad died.
Cling to your loved ones and fight the culture of death that sees these precious vulnerable souls as useless burdens to be eliminated rather than precious treasures to be protected.