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Ethical Dilemma

My grandmother is 91,has diabetes,congestive heart failure,arthritis,gout,rapidly failing kidney disease,near deafness,and is now hospitalized with pneumonia,kidney infection,and has a ongoing vaginal yeast infection from her constant urinary incontinence.We've come to the point where the doctors are literally fighting each other over whether or not to correct her pacemaker once again.It was replaced in Oct.Half my family wants to give her everything imaginable to keep her alive,the other has realized its almost over.Do you think they should continue these measures? She talks of her mom calling her home,so she knows the time is near.Her mind is slipping so fast now.I can't see the point of surgery when she may not react well to anethesia.I think she should just be left to pass.She's DNR,so if she codes on the table,that's it.She's not strong enough for dialysis.So,dignity or extreme measures?What do you think?


Asked by TMJ121099 at 8:41 PM on Feb. 2, 2010 in Health

Level 7 (186 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • in a woman that age, with so many health issues and suffering ? i would move to making her comfortable for her time left. no more needles, and blood, treatments, no more poking and prodding . Let her have some peace before her time comes

    Answer by sati769leigh at 8:43 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • I'm so sorry, but the only thing I can say is to put yourself in her position. How would you want to handle it if it were you? Also, does she have any requests, or is she too out of it know what's best? It's tough to say, but if it were me who was in her position, I think I'd just want to go peacefully.

    Answer by lowencope at 8:45 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • If she were my grandma...I think I would just want all her pain to end. I wouldn't want to watch her suffer in that way. I would get hospice involved and make the last of her days as comfortable as possible and allow her to pass over into the next world with a love one by her side.
    Sorry you have to go through all that , must be hard to watch a loved one suffer.

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 8:46 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • OP- no one has the balls to ask her about her final wishes.I tried and got my ass chewed out for being "morbid".She's 91,she could go anyday and everyone keeps screwing around like she has YEARS to go.

    Answer by TMJ121099 at 8:48 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • OP you are not morbid. you are lovingly realistic.

    Answer by sati769leigh at 8:56 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • dignity

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 8:58 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • you're being realistic, its not morbid. what's morbid is trying to keep someone alive who is ready to go.

    its sad, and horrible and heartwrenching.

    I would let her go - we had to help make the decision for my FIL a few years ago. he battled braincancer - after 6 months we had to make the decision to continue chemo and have him live longer but be sick, or to stop all treatments and have him live shorter but hopefully lucid. we chose no medications - he passed within 3 weeks of that decision - happy as he could be, and awake.

    good luck to you and your family.


    Answer by hypermamaz at 8:59 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • You grandma if in the right mind can refuse any treatment or procedure.. This is a hard situation and I agree with you. I am sorry you and your family has to go through this. All of us will be or have been in your place right now.. Let the "other" members bitch. Your grandma needs someone to advocate for her and stand by her wishes. I have been in your situation many times and it is easier to let them go than watch them suffer. My thoughts and prayers are with you...

    Answer by midnightmoma at 9:02 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • OP-She won't refuse anything because she doesn't want to upset anyone.My aunt has power of attorney but she's afraid to say no to the treatments for fear of the wrath of her brothers ans sisters.She can't win either way.

    Answer by TMJ121099 at 9:08 PM on Feb. 2, 2010