Dad taken home to die with dignity and without doctors

Thank you for the lovely viewpoint ‘Staying with the body’ (WDDTY, vol 12 no 11). Anyone who has shared similar experiences will be touched by it.

As I write this, my father is being brought out of hospital back to the wonderful nursing home where he lives, just around the corner from me.

He is being brought back to die. Dad has been battling serious illness for the past six years, mostly induced by medication. On Friday, when he was taken to hospital with a serious chest infection and swollen abdomen, my sister and I were told he was dying. We made it clear then that, while we didn’t want fluids or pain relief withheld, we didn’t want Dad to have any treatment as he has asked us to help ‘finish him off’ several times in the last few years. We feel it’s important that he be allowed, finally, to die with dignity.

I was horrified to visit him yesterday and find him having a blood transfusion. When I demanded to know why, I was told that his haemoglobin level was a ‘bit low’. My sister rang the hospital and was told that they wanted his chest infection to clear up first. She said, ‘Surely that isn’t going to happen’ and the staff nurse agreed. A doctor friend of mine confirmed that we had the right to take him out of hospital.

Thank you for The Field. I couldn’t put it down once I started. Grumblings from my boyfriend included, ‘Why can’t you read Mills & Boon like normal women do?’- Dawn Selby, via e-mail

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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