Monday, November 03, 2008

What will you do? (6)

Mrs Milowicz is a 60 year old widow who had a severe stroke eight months ago, which left her bed bound and unable to swallow. She has gone into a nursing (caring) home, but her only daughter, Anna, is not satisfied with the conditions there. It is understaffed and those who are there seem poorly trained. Anna visits her mother every day, carrying out many of the nursing tasks herself, but this is difficult for her as she lives on the other side of town, with her husband who is unemployed and two children who are at school. She relies on the bus service and the trip to the nursing home takes up to two hours.

Mrs Milowicz has now been sent to the hospital, because her nasogastric feeding tube (a tube inserted through the nose which goes into the stomach) has come out, and the staff are unable to replace it. Anna arrives with her, and explains the situation in the nursing home. She also tells the doctor that her mother has progressively deteriorated over the months and no longer communicates.
The doctor notes the daughter’s good care for her mother, since there are no bed sores. But Anna admits she is finding the daily visits very tiring and she is upset because her mother doesn’t even talk to her any more. ‘It’s such a strain, doctor’ she says, ‘I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing it. I’ve had to give up my job, and we can’t keep up with the bills.’

The doctor tells her that putting the feeding tube back would not benefit her mother who is in the process of dying. The doctor also tells her ‘I see the love you have for your mother, but it looks like it is now time for God to take care of her.’ ‘Do you mean we will just let her starve to death?’ Anna asks. Then after a moment’s reflection she adds: ‘Isn’t there anything else you could do to make it easier?’

What issues does this story raise?

What will you do?




Post a Comment

<< Home