Today, dad woke up with lots of energy, and we won the first “Post ICU II” Battle – We were able to get him to sit in bed and we got him to the wheelchair and then to the Den. He sipped his coffee (not aware that it is decaf coffee), and looked out to the waves the wind was making in the pool. Today was a good dad day, and quite a contrast to a week ago when were in our local hospital’s ER waiting for an ICU room from 9am to 7pm.
During the Emergency Room(ER) wait, a Medications Doctor came into examine dad and ask us a few questions about 6 hours after we had entered ER. She was a bit too formal for my taste, but after 6 hours in ER, I was just happy that dad was seeing a doctor. However, my excitement over finally seeing a doctor was soon over when she explained the “Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)” form.
She said to us,
“You have two options to choose from:
Thru a DNR you can let him have a DIGNIFIED end of life…We would not do anything to resuscitate”, OR
We would employ AGGRESSIVE procedures to resuscitate, but sometimes these procedures result in BROKEN ribs and other INJURIES”
I was tired, but not tired enough to be dumbfounded a the way these 2 options were being presented to us by a highly educated medical professional.
If Option A was the DIGNIFIED option, then Option B would be the NON-Dignified option – so if we choose to let him die, we would be doing the right thing, and if we would want him to be helped and saved – then we would not be very dignified?
I am a believer that terminally ill patients and their families should have the choice to end their life, but I am very upset at the use of the term DIGNIFIED being used in the presentation of one option (let them die) and not the other (help them live).
The term DIGNIFIED is not a medical term, and should never be used in presenting the DNR Choices.
Let the patients and their families choose what they see as the right choice for them and their loved ones without judgement, and the use of the word DIGNIFIED is offering a judgement that we did not invite nor needed after being in the ER with our 85 year old father 6 hours.