“A woman I knew from a previous stay in our hospital was admitted. The woman was already about 95, basically tetraplegic from two strokes she had the year before, and ‘cared’ for by her daughter. The daughter said that it was quite nice that the mom couldn’t move anymore because she could just put her in a chair or a bed, so she couldn’t get up and walk, while the daughter could go and work.
People who don’t move spontaneously usually have severe problems with skin breakdown due to pressure ulcers and need to be moved around regularly, so that was kind of a red flag. With social services and our whole team, we were able to put the patient in a nursing home where she was cared for appropriately.
The ER-occurrence happened about three months later. We knew that the daughter wasn’t quite happy about everything, because she wanted the mom to change her will in her favor. The mom was in no condition to ever be able to do that, but the daughter just didn’t realize that.
Well, she was sent to the ER from the nursing home with cardiogenic shock (meaning her heart was not working properly, and she was dying). The nursing home wanted to just let her go in her own bed at the home, but the daughter threatened to call her lawyer if she wasn’t moved to the hospital. So we saw her in the night, saw that she was in her last few hours on Earth, and she was going to die.
The daughter demanded (and I mean with screaming and waving with her lawyer’s card) not to give her anything to lessen her symptoms. We also had to try to put a cannula in to ‘revive’ her. So we had to try really hard, knowing it was basically torture for her mom, but the daughter had a certificate showing that she was the person allowed to decide on medical issues.
In the end, while she was dying, the daughter burst into the room, yelled at the mom that she was very disappointed, and started cussing her out (while she was dying).”