Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Update on My Patient

Just an update on my post the other day. The daughter of the patient called the hospice nurse screaming at him that her father wasn't dying fast enough dictating to him a dose of morphine to be given to him. She wanted him to have morphine given around the clock despite the fact he had no respiratory distress, grimacing or tachycardia, all signs of distress in a patient who can't speak.
(As an aside, The daughter won't talk to me so she uses the hospice nurse as a go between. )The hospice nurse called me in a panic because of her phone call and explained what she wanted. I said: "there is absolutely no clinical indication to administer morphine at this time and besides I am not going to be the one to kill her father. Euthanasia is illegal here in Pennsylvania, and I don't want to go to jail and even more importantly, I don't want to go to Hell." The nurse understood my points and said he agreed with my decision. I immediately went down to check on my patient and he was in a coma, comfortable with no obvious distress. Giving him morphine would have pushed him over the edge. I prayed for him then left the room. "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."
Sometime in the early morning yesterday he passed away naturally. No family at the bedside, no lethal doses of narcotic, just the nursing home nurses who understood the difference between compassion and murder.

5 Comments:

Blogger Jeff Pinyan (japhy) said...

Thank you, Russ, for your faithful and loving witness!

August 13, 2009 9:13 AM  
Blogger Magister Christianus said...

I pray that your patient is even now enjoying the heavenly reward of being in the presence of our Lord. That said, I find it sad almost beyond bearing that his family was not there with him.

August 13, 2009 11:54 AM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

God bless you, Russ. You are an inspiration and your patients are blessed to have you.

August 14, 2009 9:34 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Been there! When I became a nurse--in the early years of my nursing I've was asked to "push" a little larger dose of morphine than the patient needed--the way they thought was they were going to die anyway--so "get it over with" so they could go home. But even then--I was not Christian yet--but the law God put on my heart said--no way! People got irritated with me--but I didn't care.

August 15, 2009 11:26 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Tara:
I think there has always been some of that going on in the nursing/medical professions but by and large most folks I know would also find the idea of pushing meds to get it over with abhorrent. God bless you for not being bullied into it, which I am sure happens. thanks for the comment.

August 16, 2009 8:05 AM  

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