Beware of Hospice Services

by catheine
(Punta Gorda, FL)

Please do your family and yourself a favor and carefully create an Advance Directive, living will or whatever you want to call it but do it now. Look carefully at DNR documents and be specific as to what you want there are many different levels to a DNRs. If you are lucky enough to have a family doctor involved in your health care when you are at a crisis point he might be able to walk you through the choices but believe me when I tell you that is not always going to be the case. Down here in sunny Florida where a lot or senior citizens have retired the health care system has gone to this new money making model. No longer will the doctor who has taken care of you for 20 years or more come to the hospital. There is in place a system now that most doctors are involved in at least here. The doctor's that see you in the hospital are called hospitalist and you are a mere name, number and chart history to them. Your family doctor is truly a mere memory in this brave new world and the doctor who informs your family of your "terminal condition" is someone they will not know. The program goes rapidly. we spoke with our hospitalist for 20 minutes standing outside in the hall, nice huh. After a DNR was signed this hospital, which in the past was not known for doing things quickly worked with lightning speed and we were soon sitting now with a rep for a hospice, interesting to note none of the people for this particular hospice provided us with their last name.

My mother was returned to her home for home hospice care under this organization on the very same day that my sister signed the DNR. we did not have a second opinion as I requested, we did not at least I didn't understand the parameters under which we were giving over the care of our mother to these people. I do hope my sister motives were not about money because my mother had enough to care for herself better then these people.

There is a term which is new to me its called "Terminal Sedation", sounds like murder you say well almost, it walks up to the legal line and pushes it. They loaded my mother with morphine at the drop of hat, the blink of an eye or a delirious whisper, she must be in pain give her more morphine until finally she would no longer eat, drink or take pills. She was in my opinion comotose with over sedation. I finally asked if they would simply hang a bag of fluids and I was referred to their "Book" Chapter 7 End of Life eating and drinking.

The doctor has said my mother could last as long as 6 months but once in the hands of these people she lasted 5 days. I took her to the hospital on the 12 of Jan and she walked in under her own power shortness of breath was the problem by the 25th of Jan she was dead. Hospice services got a hold of her on the 20th and that's where my nightmare began.

As I said its a brave new world of medicine now so watch out for yourself and for your love ones. There are many organization who will help you but you need to look before you need them. The various "Right to Life" organization's are a good place to start.

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