Does This Go On Or Not?

My friend and I were discussing whether or not, even though it is technically legal, doctors sometimes do things to help a hopelessly ill person die. When My daddy did not recover from heart surgery, he lay in a coma for months, attended to by nurses, etc., but hardly by the seemingly non-existent doctor. One day, after the doctor finally came in to see him, and he had been comatose for 6 months, he passed away ten minutes later. My mom and I really did not have a problem with this, as he was suffering so, and we knew he was never going to get any better (he was 90), but it did seem quite a coincidence. But that isn’t the point of the question. I also remember Jackie O being quite ill with C, and as I recall, she died very soon aftre her condition was reported to the general puiblic. At the time, people commentred on this, and wondered if something like this happened. What do you think?

This claim is made regarding the death of King George V:

The same claim is noted in this review of Royal Proxes and Potions: The Lives of Court Physicians, Surgeons and Apothecaries

It would seem so. Here’s one resource:

The links there may be useful. I could swear there was an article on this (regarding an anonymous survey of healthcare providers and hospice workers) that revealed how common the practice–usu. causing an intentional morphine overdose–actually is. Still looking.

My friend’s ma was losing the cancer war. She was in hospice with a morphine machine and a controler button to help her manage the pain. The patient was completely oblivious, having been on hydrocodone for a long time and was really just not herself if you take my meaning.

Nurser showed my friend how the machine worked, gave a warning about how to avoid accidentaly overdosing the patient with the machine and went about her rounds. There was a funeral a few days later. I’m all for euthanasia, personally. My friend was always on the fence about it. She and her mother were always very close.

Here’s something (though it seems too old to be what I was thinking of):

(ironically, it’s about how morphine DOESN’T hasten patients’ death, despite doctors’ intent to use it so)

Thank you, my people.
In the first sentence, I meant to say “technically illegal”.
my guess was that this does happen, and not all that infrequently.

It is done all the time - usually with moribund patients who are clearly suffering.

I have personally seen it done a few times and most nurses and doctors I know are comfortable with it if the patient is very near death and unable to be made comfortable through usual means.

My father-in-law developed sudden respiratory distress in the late stages of lung cancer. He had spent most of the day gasping for breath and agitated despite efforts to sedate him with tranquilizers and opiates. Finally a nurse said, “I can’t take this anymore. I’m calling the doctor to get orders for serious morphine.” A young doctor appeared and told the family we had two choices. We could have him moved to the ICU where they would intubate him, suction his lungs, and put him on a respirator OR we could allow them to give him 15mgs. of IV morphine every 30 mins. until he stopped breathing. He said the ICU option would probably buy him 2 weeks of life on a respirator and the morphine option would probably kill him by the third dose. We chose the morphine and he died peacefully.

Most of the cases like this I personally know of were done ONLY if all family members involved agreed. Nobody wants to be sued or charged with murder for this. If even one family member is opposed the docs won’t do it.

Balls move by the doc: openly stating “shall we kill him?” I’d be more inclined to be sneaky about it. Good thing I’m not a doc!

It’s been widely speculated that Linda McCartney was discreetly euthanized at the end.

It is indeed amazing how high tolerance can get. I think that euthanasia with opioids works best when the patient hasn’t been on them long enough to build up a significant tolerance – otherwise the dose required to sedate the patient until they stop breathing is so high that it is obvious why they died.

I’ve seen opioid-tolerant pain patients take ten times their normal dose of opioids, either in an attempt to commit suicide or by accident, without it affecting their breathing much. And I’ve seen addicts who are used to taking large quantities of highly impure heroin accidentally take many times their usual dose without it hurting them.

But as to the question posed by the OP, yeah, it does seem to go on even where it is illegal. And most of the time I’m sure nobody knows about it but the participants – after all, unless a family member objects and raises a public fuss about it, who’s going to know?

I wish one of those docs had been there when my brother was dying of stomach cancer. He repeatedly asked us to kill him because of the pain during the later stages of his illness. He got one of those morphine button things but was unable to push the button to administer the meds. We asked the MD to up his injections so that he didn’t have to push the button and he, the doc, accused us of trying to murder him. At this point he was in hospice care and food and water were being withheld to speed his death, not that he could eat or drink anything anyway cause there was no place for it to go. WHAT WAS THE POINT???

When we pointed out that he was unable to self-administer the pain-killers the MD’s response was “Well that’s what his family is for.” So we essentially remained with him 24 hrs a day pushing a stupid button so he would not be in excrutiating pain. And all he asked was to die with dignity. ARGGGHHHHH. Not that we wouldn’t have stayed anyway, it was just insanity of the process.

I will not do this if something similar happens to me. Drugs, a bottle of wine, some nice tunes on the stereo, laying on the beach listening to the waves seems like a good idea to me.

My mom’s an RN. While she never informed me that she had been involved in an incident like this, she did mention that it had occurred at a facility that she had been employed by.

In your choice of a user name, **Not A Well Woman, ** were you setting yourself apart from the source of the “baseball in the Bible” joke, the woman who went to the well with her pitcher??? Under the (I don’t think I can spell circumstances) those conditions, this is a rude question, but, hey, inquisition minds want to know!!!
Never mind. I’m calm now. Apologies all 'round.sorry, sorry, sorry. Never mind. Separation of powers. Executive priviledge. 9-11, terrorists, God bless America. What?


Someone fetch Asknott some morphine.

I just went through a scenario with my father in law. They gave us morphine and the attending nurse (in-home hospice) administered a small amount every three hours. When he finally did die, the nurse accounted for every. single. drop of morphine in that bottle. She had no sense of humor when I told her the sibs had split up the remaining doses amongst themselves (heh-heh). There’s no fucking way this organization was going to accidentally euthanize him.

However, I had a feeling they gave my mom a bit of a push. They gave her enough that she didn’t even regain fake consciousness. I hope this is the case.

AskNott, it would help a great deal if I knew what joke you refer to.