Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So currently we are working with a client that has their husband in ICU after a fall and fractures, ended up in ICU ventilated with a breathing tube. Initially had to be tracheostomized because they couldn’t come off the ventilator after being in a prolonged induced coma because of fractures and post-surgery after a fall.
So now the situation is that their loved one still can’t come off the pain medication because they are in severe pain after fractures and surgery, even after seven weeks in ICU. And because they’re not coming off the pain medication such as fentanyl, which is a very strong pain medication, it’s an opiate as well, and it’s addictive, so it comes with undesirable side effects. And their loved one is not waking up after seven weeks, can’t come off the ventilator and now the intensive care team wants to more or less end their life and say that they want to give their loved one more medications such as midazolam or versed, more fentanyl, and basically make them “comfortable” and let them die.
Move them to a hospice and let them die. Make them comfortable. Now, that in my mind is euthanasia, it’s hastening death, and it’s simply not what the family wants. And it’s also not what the patient in question would want when asked, he said he wants to have everything done.
Now, again this is euthanasia, and it’s illegal and hastening death. Now I go one step further. I say this is murder because this is clearly the planned death of a person and that in my mind is murder.
So the biggest challenge for families in intensive care is simply that they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know what to look for. They don’t know what questions to ask. They don’t know their rights and they don’t know how to manage doctors and nurses in intensive care to get better outcomes.
Now, after I have worked in intensive care for over 20 years, unfortunately, I have seen this over and over again. Intensive care units need beds. They’re thinking that this may not be a good business case and they may simply also be emotionally tired to keep looking after a patient that’s been in ICU for seven weeks.
So my tip for today is, know your rights, seek professional help, seek professional consulting and advocacy because we are specialized in helping and advocating for families in intensive care. We know actually families’ rights.
So if you have a loved one in intensive care and you need help, check out intensivecarehotline.com. Call us on one of the numbers on the top of the website, or send me an email to [email protected].
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This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.