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

Does Morphine = Euthanasia in the Dying?


barbara - August 04 2020

Hi Kris, I am so sorry to hear of your father’s dying experience. I hear way too many of these experiences. You might write your father a letter and tell him what you are feeling. Write from your heart, all the love, sadness, concern as well as anything you have ever wanted him to know. When you are finished burn the letter and scatter the ashes to the wind. Know in your heart he will receive your love. My blessings to you. Barbara

Kris - August 04 2020

Carole: I had an identical experience as you did and I am finding it hard to move past the guilt and regret I am feeling. My father was worsening in his illness for sure, but he was still getting up to go to the bathroom and showering himself. Hospice came in on a Friday and he was gone by the next Wednesday. He fought us as we tried to give him the morphine. I am haunted with the feeling that we killed him, first by making the decision to put him on hospice, and then by following their directives. I know my father is in a better place, but he didn’t get a say, even when he tried to resist, we were told to give it to him. I am devastated by my father’s death, not that he died, I know he’s in a better place and he had been ill for a long time, but in the WAY he died. It was not peaceful, and I can’t get over it. I would like to know if there are others that have had the same experience and how, if possible, they moved past it. Thank you for sharing!

Renee Durio - July 24 2020

My mother suffered a stroke and was unresponsive. After several hours hospice nurse began a regiment of morphine. Mom was clearly not in pain. Her organs were shutting down. She was dying. However, she was still breathing and in no pain. I started to intervene and will always wish that I had. Why wouldn’t they let nature take it’s course? Why not let her die on her own. I am very distraught that I let them do this. A comment was made by nurse. “It’s really taking a lot of morphine for this one.” I believe it was wrong. I am a well educated person and was there every second. I believe she overstepped her authority.

Gail Berdahl - July 23 2020

My Husband gave up his will to live in pain anymore.He asked to go home & due.I contacted Hospice & they arranged everything so he could come home & have his last wish granted. The Hospice team was Amazing & the care they all gave to my Husband of 30 years was astounding.Thank God for Hospice.Iv’e never felt so cared for & supported while my loved one passed.They called often to check on me after the death.I was not concerned about the Morphine my Husband was getting, it helped his pain.Thank You again to our Hospice Team,they are Angels on earth.♥.

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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