November 14 2016
Written By
Barbara Karnes
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Does Morphine = Euthanasia in the Dying?

Does Morphine = Euthanasia in the Dying?


J R - June 18 2019

I’m extremely grateful for hospice and their use of morphine. Just a few days ago, we brought my mother in law home to hospice after stopping dialysis. She slept through the first night, but in the morning was in incredible discomfort- she had so much fluid in her throat, she couldn’t swallow, and she spent hours gasping for air and gurgling, and though she could barely speak, she managed to get out “i wanna go now”. She was so distraught.

The hospice nurse calmly said that she could help. She gave her one large dose of morphine, and she quickly took in her last breath, and was gone. Finally at peace. It was purely an act of mercy and compassion for the dying, and also for us as her family. I firmly believe that if this nurse hadn’t done that, she would have suffered on and on and on, in fear and panic and agony, being unable to breathe through the fluid gurgling in her throat and lungs. And being left to endure that just isn’t right. In some instances of prolonged or very intense suffering , it’s the only right thing to do.

Amparo - September 02 2017

I have lost three of my love ones of colon, liver, and lung canser seeing them suffer of this deceased is very sad and stressful and painful. They all chose morphine.when they we’re alive.l myself believe the same way. I choose to die a peaceful death don’t want no machines keeping me alive.thank God for hospice

Carole Inman - August 03 2017

Two years later, we are still living with the regret of turning over my mom’s care to hospice. We feel they terminally sedated her with morphine, and hastened her death. Believe me, I loved my mom, and it’s a horrible guilt trip and a heavy emotional load to carry. Our intentions were pure at the outset, when we agreed to the hospice referral. We wanted my mom to die a relatively comfortable death, and that is the rationale (and how could we argue with it?) the hospice nurses used whenever we questioned the amount of morphine or how rapidly it was being increased. “You DO want your mother to be comfortable, don’t you?” Only a heartless ogre would disagree! I hear what you say, that this rarely happens, but that is not what our experience has been. We now know of several cases just within our own circle of family and friends where a steady flow of morphine drops under the tongue took previously functioning patients (admittedly sick, yes, but not in the throes of death) down in just a matter of days. It is happening far more often than you may think, or want to believe. Please read about the Frisco, Texas Novus hospice company owner who directed his nurses to overdose patients to “hurry” them along. I wish I could believe all the hospice propaganda, but I’ve seen too much with my own eyes. There may be times/patients who might actually welcome the sweet relief of morphine induced euthanasia, but that should be THEIR decision, not the hospice company’s.

Barbara Karnes - June 28 2017

Julia, I can’t say that what you propose (that families are deliberately overdosing their “loved ones” to hasten their deaths) never happens but I can say it is rare. While there are problems and confusion about the use of morphine at end of life, purposely overdosing to cause death is not one of them.

Julia Cate - June 27 2017

The problem with the morphine, to easy the pain of death is that family members and those that have Power of Attorney over another human, abuse this authority. Loved ones that are not ready to end their life, are being abused, death hastened, for their own personal gain.

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