Elderly patients being euthanized by doctors and hospitals without you knowing it
How the subject came up!
If you read my hubs, you'll notice that I wrote a hub currently on the risks of doing coronary bypass surgery. It was in regard to my mother's recent surgery and what happened after. This hub is more of a continuation of her story, which has turned into a nightmare.
I honestly didn't think what I'm about to write about actually happens but it seems to be more common practice than it should be. My mom had to be transferred to an LTACH facility. LTACH is a Long Term Acute Care Hospital. She was supposed to be receiving the same level of care that she was receiving before her transfer. When she was transferred, my brother and I didn't get to the hospital to sign the transfer papers until two days later. During the two days prior, the same level of care she had at the other hospital continued. She was on her liquid diet, was receiving physical therapy, and everything else she needed to get better. Once the transfer papers were signed by my brother, he goes to moms room where she is eating off of her tray and a few minutes later,before mom is even finished eating, they take the tray away. Since that day she hasn't had a morsel of food. They decide to put her on TPN. TPN is Total Parenteral Nutrition which is usually given to someone who can't eat and has stomach issues. It can also be used in conjunction with tube feeding or pec tube feeding and is supposed to supply all daily nutritional requirements. TPN can be used in the hospital or at home. Because TPN solutions are concentrated and can cause thrombosis of peripheral veins, a central venous catheter is usually required. Parenteral nutrition should not be used routinely in patients with an intact GI tract. Compared with enteral nutrition, it causes more complications, does not preserve GI tract structure and function as well, and is more expensive. (Retrieved from the Merck Manual).
Each time we talked to the doctor, he wanted to put her in hospice care. We asked mom what she wanted and she wanted to get better. We relayed the message to the doctor but he didn't seem to care. We told the doctor to also give her back her liquid diet which we were told he could not do. He didn't even give her a feeding tube nor a pec tube. They weren't doing anything for her. They didn't do physical therapy as they were supposed to either. After the first week with no food and possibly no TPN or enough of it, she had issues arise with her stomach and stomach wound. Her stomach ascended, possibly from undernourishment and dehydration. Second week of no food, her bp starts dropping. They give her medicine constantly to keep it up. The medicine they give her though can make her necrosis worse which is what they were vying for. They hid the fact that she wasn't getting enough nutrients to her body nor enough liquids and those issues caused new issues to arise. They wanted to make it seem like they were happening on their own.
Not only did those new issues arise, they lied to us about her condition. They were stating that she had this issue and that issue, when in fact she didn't. They tried to tell us that she was incoherent when we already knew differently. It wasn't just the doctor either. This went all the way to administration.
Medicare euthanasia is a real thing.
Stories of Euthanasia
You can google euthanasia online and see all sorts of articles on it. Medicare tells doctors that they only have a certain amount of time to heal an individual due to payment of services. If a patient can't be cured in the time medicare says they'll pay, doctors will find a way to end their life. In 1983, Daniel Callahan, who was the director of Hastings Center wrote "a denial of nutrition, may, in the long run, become the only effective way to make certain that a large number of biologically tenacious patients actually die." [Daniel Callahan, "On Feeding the Dying," Hastings Center Report, October 1983, p. 22] While that was written over thirty years ago, the practice continues. Not only that practice but the practice of giving an elderly patient a high dosage of pain medication. In the article online called "Warning - Are you being a victim of euthanasia", a nurse who worked in a catholic hospital details some of the events she witnessed during her time there. Also in the article it states "Your life may be in danger if you are admitted to a hospital, especially if you are over 65 or have a chronic illness or a disability. The elderly are frequently dying three days after being admitted to the hospital. Some attribute it to "old age syndrome" while others admit that overdosing is all too common. Euthanasia is not legal but it is being practiced." I truly believe that is a very true statement. I also suggest reading the entire article. Link will be provided at the bottom.
Firing your doctor!
Friday morning, I fired my mother's doctor. If you didn't know that you could fire your health care professional you do now. If you don't agree with the things they do or if they aren't following your plan of care then you can fire them. He excused himself and another doctor was appointed to my mom's care. The new doctor comes in on the Fourth of July and assesses my mom. I'm in the room and have been staying in the hospital with mom since July the second as we're afraid to leave her alone thinking they might kill her. The first things out of his mouth was that she was very malnourished and very dehydrated. He ordered tube feeding immediately. He also assessed her other areas. The other doctor she had was saying that she was going to have to have bilateral amputations of both legs. Her new doctor says all she needs is skin grafts. His biggest concern was her chest wound which apparently isn't being taken care of properly. He also ordered for a new swallow test. He wants to get her body pumped back up with supplements and so forth in order to get her stronger.
Misdiagnosis and CEO
Apparently the other doctor did some misdiagnosing of my mother. Her stoma is necrotic, she has multi-organ failure, and the list goes on. This is what my brother and I were told each time we had a visit with the doctor. Each visit with the doctor, nurse(s) and even administrators we were told she wasn't going to make it and that it would be best to end her life in hospice care. We knew what all was wrong with mom before she went into this hospital. I look her over every time I see her just to see what is going on with what. I even take pictures. Every issue she has faced since she has been transferred can be attributed to malnutrition and dehydration.
This morning, I go and talk to the CEO of the hospital. Apparently he thinks I'm crazy and that my brother and I can't accept what is going on with mom. We are willing to accept it if it was natural but starving a patient to death isn't natural. It's cruel and it's murder. The CEO was also apparently threatening, saying that we shouldn't expect much out of the new doctor. That got me worried. I know how much influence a corporation can be over one independent doctor. Now, all the family wants is for mom to be transferred to another facility, especially me as I'm the one who has to sit here each day she is in here keeping idle watch to make sure they're doing their job. I know the CEO was aware of what was coming and prepared for it.
I have told and retold my story to countless attorneys, adult abuse hotline, medicare/medicaid services, hospital complaint board, and the list goes on. Now while euthanizing a patient is supposed to be illegal, I'm sure the hospital will find a way to prove nothing happened. I know that some of the employees didn't know or realize what was wrong. They were just following doctor's orders. I can remember seeing the look of horror on the nurse that was in the room when the new doctor assessed my mom. She was in total disbelief that he said she was very malnourished and very dehydrated. No patient in a hospital should be in that sort of condition except without an ulterior motive.
My advice is, keep track of all that happens if you're ever in a situation like this. Doctor's are great at hiding euthanasia. It is illegal but is practiced a lot. Now, I'm just wondering how many other patients and families this hospital has done this to. It's a very scary situation and I hope that what they've done can be repaired. I know that my mom is looking for another seven to eight week hospital stay because of her declines due to their treatment. Be vigilant in your loved ones care.
Links to some of the sources used
http://www.hospicepatients.org/this-thing-called-hospice.html#Euthanasia Society: Covert Operations in the Health Care & Hospice Industry