Update on My Patient
(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.