#Euthanasia #PrematureTermination---Why do doctors have the right to withhold care to citizens-especially citizens with handicaps, dementia and chronic illness?When resuscitation can restore a person to life why would the resuscitation be denied?
When a DNR order is placed on a patient--you can now go through a dispute process that is internal to AHS. I have no faith in this dispute process.
The only recourse then would be the court system and if your family member is having a heart attack when are you to go to court?
This sort of end of life fiasco needs to be reviewed by the government in every part of Canada.
Doctors are not gods.
Patients need rights and external to the health authority and health ministry appeals process.
We want our voices to be heard and not ignored.
We're the patients and their families.
We will be heard --and we will change the system.
DEATH BY EUTHANASIA
Beloved Father File:02 I’m writing this letter at 4:00 AM because I haven’t been able to sleep.
My Father, John Lisowy, died in the early hours of Feb 3, 2004.
He was being cared for in our home when he developed a wet cough (The Flu). He was suffering dementia, had his leg recently amputated some months previous had overcome some health concerns in his recovery. He wasn’t speaking, he had to be fed, but a week prior, he managed to take the hand of his caregiver, raise it to his lips and kiss the caregiver’s hand in order to show his love, respect and gratitude.
My 26 year old innocent daughter became concerned that Grampa needed some medical attention for his cough, started yelling at me, and became insistent I take him to see a doctor so they could start him on some antibiotics fearing the cough if left untreated might develop into pneumonia. I called all day trying to find a doctor that might make a home visit but in the end, had to opt for the services of the doctors at the hospital.
The folks at emergency confirmed that indeed it appeared to be an early onset of some respiratory problem, put dad on intravenous liquids and said they would begin medication. He was admitted then transferred to a room upstairs. Believing dad was in competent caring hands, I relaxed, but the following evening I was surprised to hear that no medication had even been initiated. Asking what the reason for this un-necessary delay was, I was given some poor excuse by a nervous nurse that tried to avoid eye contract. “Tests are pending” she said, “but still have not been ordered” adding that “hospitals operate more slowly”.
I spoke with Dr. Game and insisted he be started on antibiotics before his condition deteriorated, and could he please have some expectorant for flem. I also added that dad probably could use a Tylenol to ease discomfort. Instead a young attendant came by with a Morphine needle. I was surprised that morphine was prescribed him as I understood it is only used in extreme cases of pain. Uneasy, I trusted the doctor’s judgement.
An hour later my dad was thrashing. Battling, I’m assuming it was because he began feeling his lungs filling, his larynx seizing and breath constricting. He fought for his life. At 10:00 pm, dad’s salaried caregiver and her son left his bedside.
The next morning I was informed that Father died in the early hours. They explained that his breathing had become difficult, had slowed further and further until he could breathe no more. In other words, he slowly suffocated to death. His death would have been more merciful had I put a pillow over his face, but that’s murder.
If a doctor prescribes Morphine, the nurse injects it, it’s called “medicine (something good for you) and can be justified because it was carried out by a qualified “physician”. I thanked Jennifer, the one who called to announce my dads passing but I know, and I know that they know, that what Dr. Game had done to my Father was in fact initiate a Morphine death. “A doctor prescribed Euthanasia”. I’m well informed, have access to health information via Internet. I have since confirmed my suspicions through reading side affects of morphine in “The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs”. One only needs to type in “Morphine Euthanasia” on the web and you begin to realize the enormity of the problem, that your story is only one of many. My dad wasn’t in pain, or fever. He had onset of some bronchial condition. I can’t for one moment believe that Doctors in a hospital are unaware of “Precautionary Warning” regard the proper use of Morphine.
When I opened my dad’s mouth to look inside, I saw his mouth was full of a mushy porridge like substance. It was no longer cohesive flem the kind you cough up with a chest cold. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. Contrary to what we want to believe about Morphine, my Dad did not go gently into the night.
Morphine: CAUTION: If you have asthma, bronchitis or emphysema, this drug may cause significant respiratory difficulty, thickening of bronchial secretions and suppression of coughing. Serious Adverse Affects: • Swelling of throat, vocal chords, spasm of larynx and bronchial tubes • Hallucinations, Psychosis, Disorientation, tremor and muscle twitching • Drop in blood pressure • Seizures
I can’t bear to imagine the heart gripping terror my dad must have experienced when he realized something was going terribly wrong. He was always afraid of hospitals, needles. Now I have good reason to fear. Today I have a heavy heart and very mixed feelings. At 90, life didn’t owe dad anything. He was living on borrowed time. Still, I have this nagging feeling that somehow I had betrayed dad by delivering him into the hands of death. I myself feel uneasy, I feel tricked and betrayed. I’m not going to pursue dad’s “death by morphine injection” for the purpose of extracting revenge, but I just needed to share this.
When does it make it right for the medical profession to Euthanize? Does a senior with onset of bronchitis, reason enough to terminate a life. Who decides? Who gave doctors the licence to kill? I have a lot of questions and sleepless thoughts. “Maybe I should have, shouldn’t have”. If only I knew. The hospital is no longer the safe refuge it seemed. Doctors are capable of evasion and deceit. Is the world different today or is it just me? Yesterday I was naïve, trusting. Today I struggle with feelings of confusion, apprehension. There’s no easy answer, but I did need to get out of my sleepless bed and share my experience with the world.
Dad was a good man, he loved people, he cared, I loved him, and his caregivers loved him. Though he was 90, unable to speak, suffering dementia and handicapped in various ways, this so called doctor interpreted. “Vegetable” had enough brains, awareness, connected to feeling, and still maintained the ability to “devise” creative ways to communicate, to express his love, his deep gratitude to those around him.
PS: I asked to have a short version of this letter printed in “Letters to the Editor” of our local newspaper (leaving out specific names of course). They responded: “Dear Stephanie” “My condolences on the loss of your father but we really can’t run a letter containing such serious allegations. Perhaps you could raise your concerns with the hospital, AMA or the Health Ministry”. I Laughed. It seems that Euthanasia at grass roots level reporting in an uncomfortable topic even for Journalists whose mission is to uncover and report “The Truth”. I think I would get a better reception at the local police station. Then it would just die in someone’s file and I would be flagged as “a crazy and dismissed”. This makes anyone want to consider keeping a loaded gun by their bed as an alternative to being pleasantly murdered in a hospital the way my father was. This is the joke. In writing this article, I have no bitterness, no need for revenge; I don’t even outright condemn “Euthanasia” because perhaps in some “severe individual by individual cases where pain is so unbearable” it’s clearly the compassionate thing to do. My intention in writing this account is to drag this subject out of the clandestine and place it in the light. To initiate discussion, initiate clear guidelines and brainstorm solutions. My Father’s death is not a “personal family matter”. It affects all of us and our quality of life. It affects our Social Conscience, affects our Human Dignity. It affects our ability to Trust. If we’re going to use our hospitals as slaughter houses for our weak and elderly seniors then maybe we should talk about authorizing some humane forms of euthanasia instead of injecting a man with onset of bronchitis with morphine then waiting until the drug causes him to slowly drown, gag and choke on his own bronchial secretions, together with seizures. I have a need to know how many hours it took for my dad to die from the time he was first administered the lethal dose of morphine by a qualified physician at the hospital. Stephanie Baziuk
Thank you Dido For all the little things From: ===== Thank you Dido for tucking me in at night when you babysat me so many times, so long ago. I would watch you make my bed meticulously, folding in all the corners, making sure it was a bed fit for a princess. You always made me feel loved when you kissed me on the forehead and said goodnight. In the morning you would wake me up with a cup of hot chocolate and one of your famous homemade dill pickles. A strange combination of taste I still crave today. Thank you Dido for fixing my bike and my shoes all the time. You were better than any shoe smith, and your handiness always made everything run so smoothly. Thank you Dido for taking Ene, my friend Christy, and me to the lake every summer. Those memories of you walking the beach chatting with everyone are some of the dearest I hold because they revealed your soul. Kind, friendly, and so sociable. You knew every person by first name by the end of the day on the beech. Thank you Dido for letting me sit on your lap while you drove the car, letting me control the wheel down the side roads. For fun and for freedom, it was more adventure than any 7 year old could have asked for. Maybe your very early driving lessons are the reason I’ve never had and accident. Thank you Dido for always making sure I looked like a shiny penny. You took pride in seeing your grandkids looking polished. I enjoyed every shopping trip with you, and holding your hand as we walked through Woodward’s. Thank you Dido for the secret “top drawer” of your dresser, where you kept treats and gifts for Ene and me. I think you did an amazing job spoiling everyone. You gave from the heart, and I felt it every time. Thank you Dido for the gift you put aside for me for my wedding some day. The love you showed me surpassed your time on this Earth. This is very special to me. I could go on Dido thanking you forever and I will. I could never run out of something nice to say about you. I’m so glad that I was able to spend some time with you, and care for you a little in the last few months of your life. My care could only reciprocate a tiny portion of the patience you always showed me and everyone. I’m relieved that you are free from suffering now and that you are in God’s hands. You gave so many beautiful memories. The values you instilled in us will always serve as a reminder of the exceptional Dido you were. Your love will live in our hearts. Love =====
Seniors' families swamp researcher with nursing-home complaints
By Larry Johnsrude
The Edmonton Journal, August 21, 2003
Stephanie Baziuk has provided her 90-year-old father, John Lisowy, with care and love within her home.
EDMONTON - After watching her father's health deteriorate in a nursing home, Stephanie Baziuk thought there had to be a better way for him to live out his final years.
She pulled her 90-year-old father, John Lisowy, out of the long-term care facility after less than two months and built a special room in her house.
An outside caregiver spends eight hours each day with him. Lisowy also benefits from the convenience and comfort of living at home. Capital Health pays $3,000 a month for the caregiver.
"When he was in the nursing home, he was drugged all the time," she said. "He was there for four weeks before they even took him outside for a walk. He seemed distant and unfocused. He just wasn't the same dad."
Now, her father is healthy and happy, thanks to what is known as "self-managed care" offered by the Capital Health authority.
"It's the best of all worlds," said Baziuk. "It's the way I would want to be cared in my old age."
Yet according to a new study, home care -- and not long-term care -- appears to be the weak link in Alberta's network of services for seniors.
The report, by University of Alberta nursing professor Donna Wilson, found that seniors living in nursing homes tend to be healthier and cost the health-care system less than those staying at home and receiving care from nurses and other caregivers who drop by regularly.
"I was as surprised by it as anyone else," Wilson admitted. "We think of people in long-term care as being the frailest and sickest of all our seniors."
Since the report was made public, she has been inundated with calls from people complaining about the poor service and bad experiences of family members living in seniors' homes.
"I'm not saying that doesn't happen, but it does appear that those instances are in the minority."
At the same time, Wilson's findings are no reason for the provincial government to reverse its policies of encouraging seniors to live at home, she said.
"What it tells me is that home care is too little, too late," she said. "People don't start receiving home care until they're sick, until they've had a stroke, an accident or a chronic illness. Maybe they should start getting home care earlier as a way of keeping them healthy."
Long-term care and home care aren't an either/or proposition. Regional health authority staff decide whether seniors are capable of living on their own with the help of home care or if they require long-term care.
Analysing 12 years of Alberta Health data, Wilson found that seniors receiving home care are three times as likely to end up in hospital as are those in long-term care homes.
They stay in hospital an average of 16 days, compared with less than three days for those in nursing homes.
Diane Mirosh, executive-director of the Alberta Long-Term Care Association, said she's not surprised.
She said nursing homes offer many of the same services as hospitals but at a fraction of the cost.
"Our residents get nursing, physical therapy, recreational therapy, regular meals, visits by nutritionists and regular visits by doctors," she said. "A lot of these people would be in hospital if they didn't have long-term care."
She said the cost of long-term care averages $125 a day per resident, of which residents pay $42. The remainder is covered by government-funded seniors programs or by Alberta Health, which pays for nurses and other health professionals.
By comparison, it costs $1,100 a day to keep a patient in a hospital. Alberta Health covers the total cost.
It is unclear whether the per-resident cost of nurses in long-term care homes is less than per-person home-care costs, because the Capital Health Authority doesn't make those comparisons.
A spokesman for Capital Health said the study could result in more resources going into home care.
"We're always looking for ways to improve the system," said Ed Greenberg.
Health and seniors department officials said they want to study the report before commenting.
Richmond woman said she wasn't consulted over 'do not resuscitate' order for dad, 84
Published on: October 16, 2016 | Last Updated: October 16, 2016 4:09 PM PDT
Lori Wang is the only child of 84-year-old Zaixing Wang, who died last year days after a doctor signed a do not resuscitate order. Wang claims the family didn't agree to it. RICHARD LAM / PNG
Lori Wang will never forget the image of her 84-year-old father gasping and choking on his own blood while in cardiac arrest, and her desperate attempts to get staff at Richmond General Hospital to help him.
But she said nurses refused to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Zaixing Wang because a doctor had written a Do Not Resuscitate order on his medical chart after assessing him in the emergency department on Sept. 21, 2015.
“The blood was pouring out of his mouth and I pressed the red button, but no one came so I ran into the corridor shouting for help. This is when I learned they wouldn’t resuscitate him. The nurses were just wiping his blood away,” she said.
“He choked on his own blood from the lungs, when resuscitation needs to be conducted immediately without delay. And yet, standing by his bed watching him gasping for air and turning blue, the nurses refused, even at my repeated and desperate request, to lay a finger to help him.
“Instead, the assigned attending nurse spent those critical few minutes debating with me why my dad would ‘not make it,’ that he was a ‘no code,’ and asked me to contact my mom to deliver the bad news.
“I simply could not fathom how this could happen in the hospital when medical professionals were in arm’s reach.”
Lori Wang said she wasn’t consulted by a doctor at Richmond General Hospital before a Do Not Resuscitate order was written on her 84-year-old father’s medical chart. When he went into cardiac arrest in front of her, nurses refused to revive him, she said. RICHARD LAM / PNG
After pleading with the nurses to help save her father, Dr. Edgar Lau, the internist and respirologist who had placed the Do Not Resuscitate order on Zaixing Wang’s medical chart, was called.
Wang said her father was revived with CPR around 10 minutes after he went into cardiac arrested. However, he never regained consciousness and died on Sept. 29.
Lau would later tell two review panels looking into the case that he had explained his treatment plan to the family, which would have included putting a DNR order on Wang’s chart in the event of “acute cardiopulmonary deterioration,” given his “poor pulmonary reserve.”
In the recently completed reviews, both the College of Physicians and Surgeons and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s Patient Care Quality Office accepted Lau’s statement that the doctor had that conversation with the family.
But Wang said the doctor never told the family a Do Not Resuscitate order was being placed on her father’s medical chart, and “now it’s his word against mine.”
According to the review by the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the signature of the patient or substitute decision maker is optional for a DNR form.
If this is truly the hospital’s policy not to require a family member’s signature on a DNR order, it’s really flawed
Coastal Health spokeswoman Anna Marie D’Angelo said a physician doesn’t require a family’s consent for a Do Not Resuscitate order for someone who is very ill with complex conditions.
“They need to discuss it with the family, certainly, but it’s not a consent decision,” said D’Angelo. “If you don’t agree (to having a Do Not Resuscitate order), there’s a dispute process to get a second opinion.
“The focus is always the care and comfort of the patient, what treatments can be tolerated by a severely ill person with complex medical challenges, and whether a treatment will be beneficial. This information, including the patient’s and family’s responses, are documented in a patient’s chart. It is generally accepted in Canadian health care that medical doctors need not offer interventions that they do not consider will benefit a patient.”
Wang said her father’s diagnosis of bronchiectasis — a condition that leads to gradual deterioration of the lungs — was chronic but it wasn’t terminal.
“I feel they can basically sign someone’s life away,” she said. “The family needs to give clear, informed consent. I didn’t sign anything and my dad didn’t sign anything. Why would we even take him to hospital if it wasn’t to seek treatment?
“For any other tests my father needed I had to sign, but for something as serious as a DNR I didn’t have to sign. If this is truly the hospital’s policy not to require a family member’s signature on a DNR order, it’s really flawed.”
Wang said her father was admitted around 10:30 a.m. to Richmond Hospital after coughing up blood. His respiratory arrest happened after he had been transferred to a hospital ward around 5 p.m. and just an hour previously a nurse had seen him well enough to go to the washroom unassisted.
Wang questions why Lau failed to meet the family that day to directly spell out the full range of medical options and prognosis for recovery, which she felt would have been high if he was given CPR immediately in the event of a cardiac arrest.
She said the DNR order was made when she had left her father’s bedside to retrieve personal items for him. At that point, she said, she received a phone call from Lau, but she said the conversation was about his condition only, with no mention of a DNR order.
Lau’s statement to the College of Physicians and Surgeons conflicts with Wang’s recollection.
“Dr. Lau noted it would have been better to speak with Ms. Wang in person, but another important consideration is being able to reach a decision (on whether to place a DNR order) relatively early in the hospital course, before an emergency occurs. Dr. Lau noted he believes he had explained the process over the telephone to Ms. Wang in adequate detail, in plain words. Dr. Lau believed that Ms. Wang understood the indications of the order, although this appears to be incorrect,” according to the College’s review.
Wang said the DNR order was reversed after Lau was called during her father’s cardiac arrest and she told him directly she wanted her father to be saved. But by that time about 10 minutes had passed without any medical intervention for her father, she said.
Lau then initiated a “code blue” and supervised staff who administered CPR. Wang said although her father was revived, he suffered brain damage and died eight days later.
“It just feels my dad died when he could have been saved. He had been hospitalized before after coughing up blood and there was never a DNR on his chart, ever,” Wang said.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons review noted Lau “acted quickly and appropriately by telephoning his primary contact person, Ms. Wang, to discuss level of intervention and to complete the MOST (Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment — no CPR) form. The (review) Committee commented that the timing was reasonable, and commended Dr. Lau for initiating the conversation early in the patient’s hospitalization. The Committee accepted the statement of Dr. Lau: that he had no reason to doubt that Ms. Wang understood their discussion.”
Coastal Health’s Patient Care Quality Office review stated: “It is believed the decision to contact next of kin was appropriate and that a no code status was an appropriate decision based on the medical condition of your father.”
However, the review panel for Coastal Health did add that while the nurse was following the physician’s order, it was “inappropriate for engaging in a debate … during this time.”
Wang also filed a complaint with the College of Registered Nurses of B.C. regarding the nurses’ actions that day, but has not yet received a response.