Now on a more serious note; I always try and keep away from the subjects of religion, politics and general world news on my posts unless it specifically pertains to our situation; today, however, I'm going to break that rule and share with you a story that is in the news in England at the moment.
Dying woman begged for food, inquest told· NHS staff dispute claim 91-year-old was starved· Inquest hears she was not fed for 4 days in hospital
Tuesday January 9, 2007 The Guardian
A 91-year-old grandmother left in hospital for four days without food or fluids had begged to be given a beetroot sandwich, some macaroni cheese and a cup of tea shortly before she died, an inquest heard yesterday.
The family of Olive Nockels, a former school matron from Holt, Norfolk, say she had asked them if she could have something to eat and drink, although this is disputed by doctors and nurses at the Norfolk and Norwich University hospital.
Mrs Nockels had been receiving fluids containing dextrose after being admitted to the hospital on September 14 2003 following a stroke, the inquest in Norwich heard. But doctors decided to stop when she developed an oedema - a build-up of excess fluid in her body - and became "waterlogged", leaking fluid from her arms, trunk and legs.
Two attempts were made to fit Mrs Nockels with a tube to feed her through her nose , but she became distressed and the efforts were abandoned.
Between October 2 and October 6, 2003, she went without any food or fluids, the inquest heard.
Her grandson, Chris West, obtained a high court injunction ordering the treatment to be reinstated, but it was overturned the next day when a hospital consultant expressed concern to the judge.
In a statement to the court, Mr West said: "It was around this time that they said my grandmother's quality of life was so poor, that they shouldn't intervene, and [should] let her die. They said there was nothing they could do for her.
"I was not willing to accept that. You do not let someone die just because [you] think it's best for them."
Mrs Nockels died four days after the high court ruling on October 10.
Mr West said that he had a conversation with a doctor in which he said: "How my grandmother is being treated - not getting any fluids or food - I would not treat my dog like that." The doctor allegedly replied: "Vets have got more power than doctors." The doctor has denied this.
A consultant geriatrician, Brian Payne, hd examined Mrs Nockels. He told the inquest that he was not aware of her having asked for food. She seemed confused when he asked simple questions, and when he broached the possibility of a feeding tube, she did not respond - apart from telling him to go away. "When I asked her whether she realised she would die, or whether she wished to die, or was ready to die, she made no response," he said. "I felt I was looking at a 91-year-old lady who was exceptionally frail with multiple disabilities, and I thought she was dying."
In a statement previously handed to the coroner, Mrs Nockels' daughter, Ivy West, said that when the hospital stopped feeding her mother through tubes, her mother had made an impassioned plea. "She said 'Help, help me, help me please.' They weren't feeding her or giving her any drink. I think she knew what was going on." The inquest continues.
Now I know this poor lady was bound to die. I am in a similar situation with Mick. He has terminal brain cancer with no possibility of recovery....I have no choice but to accept that fact. He may well meantime contract pneumonia or some other illness in the meantime and die..................I have no choice but to accept that fact. However, as long as I have breath in my body he WILL NOT DIE OF STARVATION OR DEHYDRATION! My heart goes out to the family of Mrs Nockels' and I hope they can find some peace. In this day and age no one should have to die in pain and suffering and I fully support anyone's "RIGHT TO DIE"; but they die in PEACE AND CONTENTMENT. It makes me wonder whether this attitude of the NHS is why it took 6 months for anyone to tell me about "Thick and Easy" and a further 3 months before I was told that the Hyoscine Patches existed when Mick was having so much trouble swallowing.
That said I shall now go and put back on my all singing, all dancing hat and enjoy the rest of this very special and memorable day.