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Author Topic: Doctor, nurses charged in Katrina deaths
Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by tootiredtocare:
Here are some clues as to what the doctors were under. When a patient's breathing machine no longer has power that patient is kept alive by a hand pump machine. Those things tire out a person in just a few minutes. So the doctors and staff were to the breaking point and exhuasted from keeping people alive. Critical care people in such a case literally consume most of the hospitals effort to keep them alive. This effort has consequeances. Patients that wouldn't have died do die to lack of supplies as well as the lack of medical personel to attend to them.

Sadly civilian doctors do not understand triage. Any military doctor being informed of the circumstances of the New Orleans hospitals it was ethical as to what the doctors and nurses being charged. Those patients would have died anyway and any effort to save them would have made more patients die.

Ceasing life support is not the same thing as actively intervening to end someone's independent life, and triage is not the same thing as euthanasia. Choosing not to treat is not the issue here. These people did not die as a natural result of their disease or injury.

Look at the quote Sara posted about one of the patients who was euthanized. She was sitting up, coherent, talking, and not even on an IV. This was not someone for whom a life support machine was an issue. Now it is very possible that she would not have survived transport. But they didn't give her the chance. Her family didn't get to say good-bye, and she died without them.

Concerning your argument that continuing care for them was jeopardizing other patients, one of the things that bothers me is that they were given lethal doses the day before the evacuation took place. In other words, this was not about how much room there was, or how much help they had, or how long they saw it was going to take to get from point A to point B. These were all unknowns. There is no evidence these patients' lives were a risk to anyone else's.

The issue is not the ethics of triage. The issue is whether or not it is moral to euthanize, and if so, if it was truly called for in each of these patients' cases.

Edited, grammar

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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tootiredtocare
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I hate to tell you but a lot of people didn't know about the evacuation also due to the conditions in which helicopters were being shot it was thought no patients could be evacuated. Heck the people in the hospitals thought they would have been out long before they were actually evacuated because that was what they were told by the goverment and the companies hired to evacuate them.

Yes during triage patients are euthanized. Often times doctors will give someone a large dose of morphine and the patient dies. The only reason for that dose is so the person dies without pain. It is in fact quite common. No doctor is ever charged in this instance.

Also during the evacuations a lot of patients died because of the conditions, died horribly in pain i may add.

Also the newsreport doesn't mention she was or not on lifesupport. Newspapers often leave out a lot of details like that.

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
Look at the quote Sara posted about one of the patients who was euthanized. She was sitting up, coherent, talking, and not even on an IV. This was not someone for whom a life support machine was an issue. Now it is very possible that she would not have survived transport. But they didn't give her the chance. Her family didn't get to say good-bye, and she died without them.


That was on the 28th of August that she was sitting up and talking. Especially because she was already on the critical care unit, there really is no telling what the condition of a 92 year old would be four days under those conditions.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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tootiredtocare
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Especially with the gangrene. Usually that is a secondary afflication assoicated with it such as Diabeties or Leprosy.

A diabetic four days after with the insulin supply running low or gone is in a very bad situation.

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Tootiredtocare, you specifically referred to hand held breathing machines tiring out the dr's nurses, etc, which is why I mentioned that she was sitting up and speaking. She couldn't have been if she were receiving mechanical respiration. Though Sara is correct that her condition may have changed drastically, there were other patients, at least, who were still able to converse. I am well aware that there are other kinds of life support, however.

May I ask where you are getting your information about euthanizing "often" going on during triage in the American military? I know that in the Blue/Expectant phase patients are given pain killers to ease pain, but to administer a fatal dose is never legal AFAIK.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
Tootiredtocare, you specifically referred to hand held breathing machines tiring out the dr's nurses, etc, which is why I mentioned that she was sitting up and speaking. She couldn't have been if she were receiving mechanical respiration. Though Sara is correct that her condition may have changed drastically, there were other patients, at least, who were still able to converse. I am well aware that there are other kinds of life support, however.

The only other patient who it is claimed was aware was the 360 pound paralyzed man who was in critical condition. This is one case where I would suggest that others would be jeopardized by attempting to evacuate this man. He would have to have been carried down the seven -- or more -- flights of stairs.

Oh, by the way, according to this article, three patients did die during the evacuation effort of Charity and University Hospitals.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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tootiredtocare
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Historical incidents of triage are quite common in the US military. Usually mass doses of pain killers were giving that caused the person to stop breathing. That is basically what euthanisia is a massive dose of a pain killer.

Most drugs often have sideeffects especially if you overdose or give it to someone critically ill. Quite a number of medicines giving out would kill someone who was dehydrated for several days. Half of the medicines doctors give out do harm to the body.

Most doctors if they saw say an accident victim that couldn't be saved would give enough of the painkiller so that the person wouldn't feel any problem. The result of course is the person's body stops breathing or their heart stops due to the painkiller.

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by tootiredtocare:
Most doctors if they saw say an accident victim that couldn't be saved would give enough of the painkiller so that the person wouldn't feel any problem. The result of course is the person's body stops breathing or their heart stops due to the painkiller.

Mmm, no, that is not "the result of course." While doctors do their best to relieve pain for mortally wounded accident victims, they do not just walk around giving them lethal doses of pain meds. That would be illegal.

As for the historical use of euthanasia in military triage, I'll grant you that it has probably happened. But as for it being a regular and current practice, as you have asserted, I'm afriad I have to ask for a cite, please.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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tootiredtocare
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Hate to tell you this little pink but a lot of illegal stuff happens and is never reported or found out about.

http://www.fsm.ac.fj/sms/anaesthesia/WFSA/html/u03/u03_016.htm

Notice that people who recieve morphine who are frail must be observed in their breathing as well as having an oxygen mask.

In a crisis or panic that observation can go the wayside and an accident victim who is near death giving morphine in a large dose to relive the pain can slip away. The person giving the morphine would never be arrested.

Now this isn't murder it is considered mercy. We treat animals better then humans. For a long time in this country it was considered okay to beat a child to death or rape them if they were your own. But you couldn't do that to an animal.

Those nurses, doctors who do murder patients are often never found out about since they kill patients who will let's just say no one cares about. Death is quite common in a hospital. These killers aren't doing it out of mercy but just because they can or they get a thrill out of it.

I am trying to recall this tv movie but it had a small town doctor killing lots of people but they never found about it because all the people he killed were hated by the townsfolk. A reviewer commented on a fbi study that said many murders in small towns were unreported because the doctor was the one doing the killing and he was also the person responible for autopsies.

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diehard
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You know it doesn't take an emergency situation to have a problem with morphine, I had a hysterectomy a few years back and they gave me morphine (I had taken it several times before). However this time when they gave it to me when I was waking up from my anesthesia, my throat swelled and I had a dilated pump on. The nurse over road the pump and made me push it 2x. When I woke up I was on a resperator. You never know what meds can do when you give them especially in the conditions these people were in.

Somehow I became allergic to the morphine and until it cleared and they got enough meds to counteract it in my system I stood on the vent. All of our systems change so much that you take chances everytime you take any meds.

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tootiredtocare
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/20/us/20doctor.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5059&en=12af1d87779002b3&ex=1154059200&partner=AOL

Has more on the conditions of Memorial and confirms that patients died while being transported for evacuation. Also it details more of the conditions and even a bit of history of the doctor.

It just reinforces me and others who consider that the doctor and nurses did nothing wrong.

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by tootiredtocare:
Hate to tell you this little pink but a lot of illegal stuff happens and is never reported or found out about.

Thanks for the tip, but while this is true as a general assumption, it is hardly the specific evidence needed to prove your position. I can just as easily say there are a lot of unreported encounters with alien beings. That doesn't make my opinion valid.
quote:
http://www.fsm.ac.fj/sms/anaesthesia/WFSA/html/u03/u03_016.htm

Notice that people who recieve morphine who are frail must be observed in their breathing as well as having an oxygen mask.

In a crisis or panic that observation can go the wayside and an accident victim who is near death giving morphine in a large dose to relive the pain can slip away. The person giving the morphine would never be arrested.

Your cite is a page detailing the effects and risks of morphine. It is not a study on the possible number of intentional mercy killings that go on in America by overdose, or a story on the mass cover up of the common practice of military euthanizing on the battle field, which is what I asked for. You're taking a huge leap from "morphine is dangerous to the frail" to "medical personnel deliberately and frequently give overdoses to the suffering."
quote:
I am trying to recall this tv movie but it had a small town doctor killing lots of people but they never found about it because all the people he killed were hated by the townsfolk. A reviewer commented on a fbi study that said many murders in small towns were unreported because the doctor was the one doing the killing and he was also the person responible for autopsies.
I'm sorry, but this is Snopes. This is a board where skeptics come who enjoy debunking urban legends and exposing unsubstantiated rumors. You may very well be right that euthanasia is a secret but common practice, but to convince anyone here you are going to have to provide more evidence than the random assertions of an unnamed stranger on the internet who says he saw a TV movie once about a mad doctor in a small town.

If you are going to continue to stand by your position, please find something of substance with which to support your claims in this thread that:

A. Euthenasia of triage patients is a common practice in the American military today, and is both is widely known among medics there and quietly approved of.

B. Euthenasia by intentional overdose is an acceptable practice among "most" civilian doctors when confronted with mortally wounded accident victims.

Look, I'll even take anecdotal evidence here, which is generally frowned upon on these boards. Are you a military doctor who has seen this first hand, or know one who has confided in you about his personal observation of this? Do you perform autopsies and have seen numerous suspicious toxicology reports from the critically wounded? Or is this mere rumor and conjecture? Because from where I'm standing, it looks like precisely that.

Please let me affirm to you that I believe this does go on in isolated cases. But I find your claim of an "aw, come on, they all do it" less than convincing.

As to why I personally don't believe this happens with the frequency you say it does, it simply isn't worth the risk. There is no reason for doctors to give accident victims overdoses when simple pain relief will do. Why would they risk their carreers and freedom to euthanize patients when they can just quiet them and wait for help to come, or let them die from their injuries? The same goes for military triage. Those bodies are going to be transported out anyway, why not just let the wounded sleep?

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Rhiandmoi
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Anectodotally over the last few years I had 2 grandparents die ostensibly from cancer, but actually from morphine overdoses. Because dying from cancer is really really painful higher and higher doses of morphine were given until they died from depressed respiration (aka not breathing). From what I can tell dying from injuries hurts in a similar way, so I can see how a palliative dose would also be a lethal dose for a victim of massive trauma.

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What is .02 worth?

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tootiredtocare
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Ahem little pink pill accident victims if giving pain killers will often die due to the pain killer restricting their breathing. It's not per say an overdose like on a healthy person.

As for risk what risk is their? Any autopsy will just show morphine being giving in a massive dose which is what is expected.

In military triage there is often no transport or very little at all. If there was they would have the supplies and staff to not make triage occur.

I know quite a number of nurses and other medical staff. Most medical people do not oppose euthanisea for people who are in great pain and whose death is only being postponed at the cost of recieving pain.

As for my comment about the tv movie guess what a lot of murderers who are women got off becuase no one thought a woman could murder. Female serial killers are probably as common as the males but very few have been taking alive compared to males.

Sorry but most hospital deaths are not autopsied and even if they are well guess what even if the person was euthanized if the person knows what they are doing it just looks perfectly normal.

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by tootiredtocare:
Ahem little pink pill accident victims if giving pain killers will often die due to the pain killer restricting their breathing. It's not per say an overdose like on a healthy person.

I'd like to see a reference on this one, including just how statistically significant your use of the term "often" is.
quote:
In military triage there is often no transport or very little at all. If there was they would have the supplies and staff to not make triage occur.
I don't think you know what the word triage means.
quote:
I know quite a number of nurses and other medical staff. Most medical people do not oppose euthanisea for people who are in great pain and whose death is only being postponed at the cost of recieving pain.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
quote:
As for my comment about the tv movie guess what a lot of murderers who are women got off becuase no one thought a woman could murder. Female serial killers are probably as common as the males but very few have been taking alive compared to males.
A statement of fact with no supporting evidence is considered just so many random electrons around here. Please support blanket statements such as this with cites.

Four Kitties

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tootiredtocare
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I do know the meaning of triage and it doesn't strictkly mean withholding care. You often give the triaged people massive doses of painkiller which can often kill. I will search pubmed to see if any scientific studies have been done on many people die from morphine side effects.

Btw doctors would know that morphine in such a case would be fatal there are other pain killers without such a side effect as well as not giving pain killer in such an instance. They would know to watch for the sideeffects so any intential euthanisia could be passed off as just a routine death.

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Still looking for anything other than "take my word for it" on the subject of:
  • accident victims "often" die from painkillers (one presumes the doctors take the victim's existing physical state into consideration before prescribing/administering them -- there are facilities who teach them how to do this properly, I believe they're called "medical schools")
  • opposition or support of "medical personnel" to euthanasia
  • female murderers "got off" because no one thought a woman could murder, and
  • female serial killers are as common as males.


quote:
I do know the meaning of triage and it doesn't strictkly mean withholding care.
Had you actually read the link I gave, you would see that triage has to do with prioritization of care, not treatment or withholding care.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
quote:
Btw doctors would know that morphine in such a case would be fatal there are other pain killers without such a side effect as well as not giving pain killer in such an instance.
I'm afraid that I don't understand what you're trying to say here. Perhaps some additonal punctuation is warranted?

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties:
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

*Snort*

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
From what I can tell dying from injuries hurts in a similar way, so I can see how a palliative dose would also be a lethal dose for a victim of massive trauma.

I can see how that would be true, but I would think that doctors would know to take a victim's condition into consideration when calculating dosage.

But you bring up a legitimate point about questionable morphine administration in hospice care, which, unlike the type of systematic, intentional emergency room mercy killings Tootiredtocare is insisting take place, is a well documented issue.

I'm sorry about your grandparents, by the way. I've lost 2 in the last 2 years, as well.

-Edited, because his screen name is Tootiredtocare, not TootiredtoKILL. Apparently, I am tootiredtotype. [Big Grin]

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Sara at home
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La. Doctors Outraged at Murder Accusation
I found this article interesting. It seems the outrage is that the doctors and nurses were charged because they were being selfless by being there to begin with, not because there was justification for what they allegedly did. Maybe I'm misreading. I'm not comfortable with that defense, that your decisions shouldn't be questioned because you were being selfless. But, then maybe it was just too hard to discuss the situation without condemning those the outraged doctors were trying to defend.

This caught my interest too...
quote:
"We had no communication floor to floor, much less to the outside world. We were surrounded by water. It was hotter than Hades," said Dr. Gregory Vorhoff, who was at Memorial after the storm but left to seek help before the alleged killings. "It was as bad as you can imagine."
Sort of interesting how much we take for granted because we've always had electricity. It never occurred to me that every bit of communication had to be done by a live person -- no telephones -- walking the steps.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by DemonWolf:
But would you want the doctor to be the one to decide (as opposed to your "somewhat responsive" aunt to make the decicion to inject poison and end her life?

But doctors already do decide that every day when there's nothing left that can be done. The day my mother died I spoke with the doctor and he told me that there was nothing left that could be done, and that they would administering morphine to make her comfortable until she passed. An hour later she died. It was not my choice and there was no valid living will, it's just that we were at the end of the road and that was the only medical option left.

I know that situation was different, but the reality is that doctors do make these decisions every day, without knowing the wishes of the patient and without family involved because it's all that can be done.

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Christie
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quote:
Originally posted by Jenn:
quote:
Originally posted by DemonWolf:
But would you want the doctor to be the one to decide (as opposed to your "somewhat responsive" aunt to make the decicion to inject poison and end her life?

But doctors already do decide that every day when there's nothing left that can be done. The day my mother died I spoke with the doctor and he told me that there was nothing left that could be done, and that they would administering morphine to make her comfortable until she passed. An hour later she died. It was not my choice and there was no valid living will, it's just that we were at the end of the road and that was the only medical option left.

I know that situation was different, but the reality is that doctors do make these decisions every day, without knowing the wishes of the patient and without family involved because it's all that can be done.

There is a world of difference though between not taking heroic measures to prolong a life and deliberately ending a life.

Contrary to what tootiredtocare seems to be asserting I would suggest that doctors & nurses do not take the latter course often, and never routinely, let alone during "triage".

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Jenn:

But doctors already do decide that every day when there's nothing left that can be done. The day my mother died I spoke with the doctor and he told me that there was nothing left that could be done, and that they would administering morphine to make her comfortable until she passed. An hour later she died.

Jenn, are you at all implying that there is a possibility that the doctor intentionally administered a dose of morphine strong enough to kill her?

This sound surprising like my aunt's situation. I know they were giving her morphine and that would have been just before she died.....

But then, maybe that's a question best not answered, if not not asked.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
quote:
Originally posted by Jenn:
But doctors already do decide that every day when there's nothing left that can be done. The day my mother died I spoke with the doctor and he told me that there was nothing left that could be done, and that they would administering morphine to make her comfortable until she passed. An hour later she died.

Jenn, are you at all implying that there is a possibility that the doctor intentionally administered a dose of morphine strong enough to kill her?
quote:
Christie wrote:
There is a world of difference though between not taking heroic measures to prolong a life and deliberately ending a life.

I think there's a very fine line between making comfortable a terminally ill patient who is in a great deal of pain and intentionally administering a lethal dose, especially given that a person can only have so much morphine in a day.

In my mother's case, they had tried everything they could and nothing helped. She was going to die, she was in pain, and on previous days I had heard that they couldn't give her anymore morphine that day. On that day, I was told "We have one more thing we can try to see if she rallies. If that doesn't work within the next hour, all we can do is make her comfortable until she passes." "Comfortable" meant morphine, and she died a little more than an hour (maybe closer to two hours) after that phone call.

I don't know at what point it becomes the kind of intentional lethal dose to which people object. My point, addressed to the "it should be up to the patients and the family, not the doctor" people, was that it's a decision doctors make and carry out every day with terminal patients.

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"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"

Posts: 12086 | From: Alberta | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Well I know that my grandparents were given morphine to make them comfortable enough to die. One it was his choice and one had been unconcious for 6 days and had extremely labored breathing and his body was contracted with pain. The nursing facility gave him enough morphine to relieve that pain. And the only relief he could get at that point was death.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

Posts: 8745 | From: California | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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