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Old February 21st, 2012, 01:40 PM   #1
MonkeyBiz
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Default End of life decisions

Some of you may have picked up that my Grandpa is is poor health. I'll give some background.

He's 93, has Alzheimer, is legally blind in one eye, and damn near in the other. He's very hard of hearing. We finally moved him to a "skilled nursing" home, that said they could care for him. He weekly gets UTI, because of a swollen prostate, not allowing him to void completely resulting in him having to be catheterized twice a day. He only has 4 teeth, and has swallowing issues, that cause him to aspirate liquids and foods. Oh yeah, and he's a diabetic.

Since he's moved to the nursing home, since he's a fall risk, they don't allow him to get up and walk, thus, his legs have began to atrophy.

Here's the kicker.... His heart is strong, and every so often , he has very good moments of lucidity. My Uncles are saying to "just let nature take it's natural course", and to not assist with anything. It's been decided that standing orders are to not assist with Cardiac, respiratory emergencies. Then there is the issue to artificial hydration and nutrition. The family has said that they don't want to remember him with feeding tubes sticking out of him, and honestly, there's no way he would tolerate it, and would rip it out. He does well with IVs, but now there is questions about that.

With his swallowing issue, it is easier to give him antibiotics, pain meds ect via IV, so he doesn't have to swallow. My uncle is starting to lean towards the no IVs, and to let him die.

My argument it is not our place to give or take life. But is our job to make him as comfortable as possible, and when God is ready to take him, he will. In the mean time, allowing him to dehydrate to death, and not be able to receive any medications via IV is in humane, and it's failing at our responsibility to make him comfortable.

We have enlisted Hospice to come into the nursing home, and assist in his care (County Side nursing him in Jackson Michigan is HORRID care) but they don't do IVs.
What is the right way to go here?
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