Re: Dementia Patient needing pacemaker

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daughter in law 

none Re: Dementia Patient needing pacemaker

My 82 yr old father in law has progressive dementia due to a series of strokes over the past 8 years. He has lived in nursing home for 2 years now and requires total care. He is completely incontinent, cannot feed or dress himself and sleeps about 20-22 hours a day. He occasionally seems to be able to follow conversations but does not speak. He was hospitalized 1 week ago with a significantly low heart rate (in the 30's) and the doctors recommended a pace maker(even though he did not exhibit any symptoms of pain or distress). Against the recommendations of each of her children, my mother in law agreed to it. I am upset with the hospital. I feel that they took the easy way out. We directly requested the support of the medical staff and social workers to discuss the implications with her of how this may prolong his life and the quality of life he will have. They did not do that, instead deeming that he was capable of tolerating the medical procedure. So as far as they are concerned he is "cured." I believe this comes close to a violation of an ethical code of conduct doctors, nurses and medical social workers need to think through more thoroughly.

Posted on 2010/9/14 19:36

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