Friday, December 20, 2013

Mild Stroke Led to Mother's Forced Starvation

By Kate Kelly.

I watched an old woman die of hunger and thirst.  She had Alzheimer's, this old woman, and was child-like, trusting, vulnerable, with a child's delight at treats of chocolate and ice cream, and a child's fear and frustration when tired or ill.

I watched her die for six days and nights.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Mother "Fears For Her Clients"


Elizabeth Poiana
I live in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal. I want to become a doctor.

My mother is a caregiver. Sometimes I help her with her clients. 

I am here to tell you about how older people are at risk in Washington, from doctors and hospitals. I will also talk about how attitudes about older people have changed for the worse. This is especially true since our assisted suicide law was passed in 2008.

I grew up in an adult family home. An adult family home is a small elder care facility located in a residential home. The caregivers live in the home with the clients.

My parents and two of my brothers lived in the home. With the clients there, it was like having six grandparents at once. It was a very happy environment.

This was true for the clients too, no matter what their condition was or how long they had to live. My mom could make them happy even when they were dying. The clients' family members were supportive and seemed happy too and never suggested that one of the clients should die.

Today, in 2013, we no longer live in an adult family home. My mother is a caregiver for private clients. She also now fears for her clients, especially in the hospital.  She is afraid that the hospital will begin "comfort care" (that's morphine) and her patient will suddenly die. This has already happened. She tries to never leave her patients alone in the hospital. Either she or a family member will be there....

Excerpt from Elizabeth Poiana's Testimony to the Montana Senate Judiciary Committee (HB 505, 2013 Legislative Session)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cherelle Samuel: They Drugged My Grandmother and Fed Us Lies


Edited by Margaret Dore, click here to view original

From beginning to end my grandma was a fighter who was battling stage IV stomach cancer and was given 6 months to live back in January she outlived their time table, but the story doesn't end with a closed book.

I moved in with her in March this year and was with her every step of the way so my final decision came from what I thought was from the heart.  We had a few good months where we would go out and she would go to gamble. She always kept a smile on her face up until the last few days we had with her.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Death by Dehydration and Starvation


Click here to view original letter.

My mother, Sharon Moe, was diagnosed with colon cancer in February of this year. After her surgery, I was told that she may be able to live for 6 months to 2 years. My mother was against assisted suicide and euthanasia and wanted to live as long as possible. She was placed back in the care of the nursing facility where hospice started to care for her. She was placed on a continual feed through a feeding tube because she was unable to take in anything orally due to her medical condition.

From the beginning, hospice wanted to stop the continual feed. My mother was adamant that she wanted to live and told the hospice nurse that she wanted to stay on the continual feed. My mother was able to converse and sit upright within a day or so after being taken back to the nursing facility. Her health was improving and she was doing really well after surgery despite the fact that she was underweight from not being able to eat.

The hospice nurse was still wanting to remove the continual feeding, even though my mother was doing well. My mother was able to tolerate the food and was not aspirating from it. The nurse placed a pain patch on my mother even though she wasn't in pain. They didnt ask her if she was in pain--they just administered the pain patch because she had a 'furrowed brow'. This pain patch caused my mother to hallucinate and be in a semi-comatose state. She was talkative and looking better before the patch was administered. After the patch had been in her system overnight, she started seeing things and was very scared.

My mother did not get the chance to live on longer as she had willed, but her death was hastened by dehydration and starvation after removing the continual feeding. My mother was not experiencing any pain and would tell someone if she had it....

Mike Moe, Great Falls Montana

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Doctor Effectively Euthanized Against his Will

James Mungas MD
For published version, click here.

My husband, Dr. James E. Mungas, was a respected physician and surgeon here in Great Falls. He developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and I took care of him. His mind was clear and thought processes unimpaired. He was against assisted suicide and euthanasia.

I needed to travel out of town for a day and a half. We agreed he would stay at a local care facility in my absence. Once there, nurses began administering morphine. After the first dose, my husband knew that he had been overdosed and typed out a message to call respiratory therapy. None came that day. Over the next few days, he struggled to breathe and desperately struggled to remain conscious to communicate, but the nurses kept pushing the morphine button and advised our children to do the same. My children and I did not understand the extent morphine would repress the respiratory system until later.  This was neither palliative care nor managing pain; this was hastening death. He was effectively euthanized against his will. He did not get his choice. It is traumatic, still, to realize his last communications were attempts to get help....

— Carol Mungas,
Great Falls, Montana