HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED WHILE HELPING A FRIEND IN HOSPICE:
1. A patient’s advance directives and treatment wishes may be disregarded.
2. Alert patient advocates at the bedside 24/7 are essential.
When John began to need more help, he received in-home hospice care. The nurse seemed to be caring and respectful of John’s faith, but she made statements (reported to me by John) that caused me to question if that was truly the case. Also, the hospice social worker (Paul) became very angry with me for not persuading John to sign a DNR/DNI (do-not-resuscitate/do-not-intubate order) early on. All of the usual scare tactics were employed (“They’ll pound on you, they’ll break your ribs,” et cetera).