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Feeding tubes??.... (cry)


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My Granddad is at the point where he can no longer swallow his food and more. He chokes on it.. and as heart breaking as it is they are asking if we want to put a feeding tube in or a drip and morphine (which will kill him cos they will starve him).

 

The question I have is on his guardianship papers hes put down that no medical exipment is allowed to be used and no resusitation (sorry for the spelling) So does that mean he cant have a feeding tube?

 

 

Pls I am so distressed....

 

Cass

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I would interpert that to mean that he does not want a feeding tube, since it's an articifical medical intervention, and essentially a form of life support.

 

link removed

 

Note that the above article states:

Many patients treated using a feeding tube lack the ability to survive on their own without such technology

 

If he lacks the ability to survive on his own without it, then it's probably against his wishes, based on the statement you said he gave in his Guardianship Papers.

 

I would imagine this a very difficult decision for your family. It is ultimately up to you how to interpert his wishes.

 

What is his illness? Is he terminal? Is he conscious?

 

BellaDonna

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Did the doctors give you the impression that the feeding tube will eventually come out (so it's just temporary) , or do they think he'll need it indefinitely?

 

 

He's unable to swallow food he's lost so much weight he is now skin and bones.. to put a feeding tube in will help him survive

 

What brought him to this point? Does he have any kind of medical condition?

 

BellaDonna

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At the age of 86 he's had 'good innings' he has probably led a happy and fullfilling life.

 

My grampy went throu similar - he had a massive tumour in his throat and fought all the way throu. In the end, his wish was to let him dye - we over rid this for selfish reasons...until we realised what we were doing. we let him die with the last part of dignity...and we granted his wish.

 

everyone is different. If you think putting him throu the feed tubing will sustain a quality of life he would want to live, then you go for it.

 

X

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If he is conscious enough to communicate (i.e. by blinking his eyes, etc) then perhaps he should be asked what he wants- even then you risk that his answer won't be accurate or he might not understand the implications of what's being asked (depending if he's on medications, or in a lot of pain etc.)

 

If I were in this situation, the main things I would consider would be:

 

*If he has a feeding tube put in- will it EVER be able to come out? Is this just being used to help him gain weight so he can recover, or is his conditon terminal, and this a form of life support?

 

*The major problem with a permanent feeding tube is that it does not make the problem of an ethical dilemma go away. (It's a temporary solution which prolongs life, but ultimately the family has to face the same hard decision and it may be worse the next around because they have to order something "removed" whereas before their decision to let nature take it's course wasmuch less invasive) Think of the Terri Schiavo case. The family might have to be confronted with the decision to "remove" the feeding tube if other vital organs begin to fail. When a feeding tube is removed, the person starves to death, and even though they are unconscious, this is a very sad process which can take up to 2 weeks before the person dies. Page with good info: link removed

 

*What would the person want? What have they been known to say to others about this topic? What's in their paperwork.

 

From reading what you posted here about what's in his papers, it seems he was against life support and medical intervention in a terminal state. If he's in a terminal state (i.e. no chance to get any better or be cured even if a feeding tube is put in) your family will need to think long and hard about that. It's terrible decision to face, but they must try their best to honor the person's wishes. Perhaps if they talk in depth to doctors, attorneys, relatives, they will know how to best interpert what your grandfather wrote.

 

I'll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers,

 

BellaDonna

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I'm not coping with this... I lost my dads pa this time last year.... its so unfair...

 

I had looked at your other posts to see if you ever wrote anything about what this grandfather's condition was (before you answered my question and said it was emphesyma). I noticed your post from around this time last year about your other grandfather.

 

I'm so sorry. This must be incredibly hard for you.

 

((Hugs))

 

 

BellaDonna

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it is hard and i'm really not coping... i've gotten my self drunk and i'm pushing away friends.. i just had a fight with one.. i hate everything.. this is so incredibly hard... and i know i may sound like its all about me... i just dont want to know that he was starved to death even if he isnt in pain....

 

thankyou both for your advice, and thoughts means alot

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Try to stay away from the alcohol.

 

No matter what, remember that both of your grandfathers love you dearly. They want you to take care of yourself. That's for sure.

 

I know the idea of your grandfather suffering is very upsetting. One of the articles I liked to stated that terminal patients in their last stages are "rarely hungry or thirsty". If he is put on a morphine drip, that would dull his pain and make him comfortable.

 

Your family needs to have a very long talk with the doctors so that they can explain everything in detail. Pros and Cons of each decision, etc.

 

During this difficult time, if you believe in any kind of higher power, it might help you to pray. That may give you a little bit of peace.

 

Take care of yourself ,and keep us informed about how he's doing, and how you're doing.

 

BellaDonna

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cassandra,

 

I have just recently been in your shoes.

 

My grandparents were recently hospitalized.

 

We were told that they wouldn't make it.

 

I was so upset and angry at hearing this.

 

That I told them they were wrong and my grandparents would make it through.

 

The hospital removed their IV and other means of support/nutrients.

 

And I argued and made them put it all back in.

 

I stayed every night in the hospital sleeping next to them.

 

And my grandparents would scream in the middle of the night, don't let me die.

 

They don't speak any english, and no one cared to help them.

 

I cried because I could not believe what they were going through.

 

I talked to everyone possible to make sure that they would make it.

 

I called doctors all over the US, I have friends who are specialists in every field.

 

They told me what medicines to put them on, what tests to have done, etc.

 

It was the hardest experience I have ever gone through.

 

My grandparents are now in better health, they are alive and well, and I thank God for giving them the strength to live.

 

They both started out with feeding tubes and morphine drips, and my grandpa is now eating himself without the tube and is joyous as ever.

 

And my grandma is doing much better.

 

One day, I was sitting with them, and they thanked me for fighting for them, I never gave up hope, and I LOVE THEM WITH ALL MY HEART!

 

Thank God for his miracles.

 

Do not lose hope and deep down fight for what you believe should be done.

 

If you have any questions, I would be happy to help, or I can ask a medical friend.

 

Hugs, Rose

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i'm so sorry, cassandra. i wish i could think of something to say that would relieve your distress.

 

a feeding tube is definitely medical equipment. if he is at the point where A) he cannot survive without it, and B) he is unable to articulate his decision regarding a tube, i think to have one implanted would go against his wishes as stated in the papers. a morphine drip, on the other hand, will ease his pain to some extent without prolonging his life. this is the path that my ex-wife's family chose for her father who had made a similar request.

 

again... so very sorry. *hugs*

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