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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Killing Them Softly? Deadly Hospice and Palliative Care

Hugh & Michelle Finn in happier days before she killed him
with the complicity of  Annaburg Manor in Manassas.
How My Son Died in Hospice

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.


Susan Matthiesen said...

We have the most dedicated to Christ, orthodox, good and faithful Pastor at our Parish here in Florida. Three months ago the husband of a friend of mine had a heart attack so he was flown into Orlando to a huge hospital there (which killed my own mother) where he had open heart surgery. While in surgery he had a stroke. Therefore after the operation the hospital pressured my friend to pull the plug and "let him die", i.e., kill him. She called our pastor,THE HOSPITAL'S WORST NIGHTMARE, who swiftly arrived on the scene.

Father helped guide her through the Church's correct teachings on end of life issues. He said, "You cannot kill him. You cannot do this." My friend, orthodox and always wanting to do Christ's Will, told the doctors her decision and today her husband is in nursing care while she gets their home ready with wheelchair ramps and widening of the doorways in order to bring him home. He can now eat by himself and is cognizant of everything although has not much movement on one side.

Father has helped my friend every step of the way and has been by her side when she needed him. If only... IF ONLY!!...every priest were like Father.

And so here is an aside - when one does the Will of God, there is a certain "look" about them. My friend looks ...well..beautiful...angelic... because suffering makes one look that way.

Paul A. Byrne said...

Yes, I have watched special friends have their life shortened within hospice and without hospice. It is awful and as gifted as I am with physical, mental and medical strengths, it knocks me down; it is awful.

Yes, at times I have kept the vultures of death away from relatives, personal friends and sick persons when relatives or attorneys contact me. But I have watched the POA carry out, no IV, no water, and give Ativan and Morphine until dead and no way to stop them—it is legal! It is awful—and so many think it is OK.

Education is important. Everyone needs to designate a Medical Power of Attorney to protect and preserve your life when you are defenseless and vulnerable. Most POA set it up for the MPOA to impose death under arguments of imagination. AND every person who becomes 18 must have a MPOA, preferably their parents, until they marry. I have watched and participated with parents when their 19 year old son is unconscious and on a ventilator and the System appoints a Guardian.

A DNR is not a good medical order and there is no place for a DNR. In the System of Death, if getting organs can’t be done, then the System will get a DNR, then WLST—oh yes, sedate, tranquilize and narcotize to pall suffering—of the patient and those around. Everyone must learn about the System of Death!

Hospice and Palliative care as it now exists is a major part of the System of Death (no longer a culture; more than a culture). The roots of this System of Death are 1) the mendacity of “brain death” with organ stealing, and 2) artificial birth control. Abortion is used often because birth control failed. So long as these are not identified as the roots and essential parts of the System of Death and so long as a stand for life from true conception until true death is not taken, success will not happen. Pretending that hospice (as it now is) and palliative care are acceptable will not be effective at stopping the System of Death. Diaries will document history, but the diaries haven’t stopped or prevented our present System of Death.

Persons (eg Wesley Smith and Ira Byock) can be identified as leading down the wrong path, but a major problem that each of us is doing our own thing and not having across the board respect for life from true conception until true death. It became legal to dissect young persons while alive before Roe v Wade. Every state that added a Living Will Statute first had cessation of brain functioning, function, functions statute (“brain death”), which has the major goal to get organs. Every organ that is taken (stolen) for transplantation comes from a living person. Yes, tissues are taken after death, but this is preceded by taking the vital organs, which kills the one from whom the organs and tissues are taken. Before (Natural Law) and certainly after documentation through Moses, it is known not to kill and not to steal. No modern-day doctor, lawyer, legislator, cleric or candle stick maker can change these.

Incidentally, I treated and cared for children with leukemia and cancer for 6 years. Never did I give morphine or any sedating drugs. And never did the parents ask for them. Some children died in the hospital; some died at home. I would go to the home to pronounce death.

Repeal and reform of PPACA is going on, but I haven’t seen anything about protecting and preserving life from true conception until true death.

Paul A. Byrne, M.D

Anonymous said...

Nomenclature point: A "Power of Attorney" appoints someone to act. The person who is appointed to act under a Power of Attorney is an "Attorney in Fact."

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to be vigilant about health care systems that include palliative care (as the 18 months a friend has been caring for his son after an automobile accident has already incurred over 3 million dollars). No limit on coverage is one of the good features of the ACA.