Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ethical Question

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Lola wanted to just stay in bed. After allowing this and just getting her up to eat and clean her body, today I forced her to get up earlier in the day. When she stays in bed, she goes into the fugue. When I force her to get up, she doesn't. When she's in the fugue, getting her to the bathroom is scary with her being so fragile on the way. If I keep her up and moving, she's stronger.

On Tuesday, I gave her Rice Krispies, and for the first time ever, she didn't eat them. She ate a pudding, but not anything else. On Wednesday, she wouldn't eat the Rice Krispies again. I asked her if she wanted tamales, and she did. She ate plenty of them. Another taste change, I suppose. It will take me a while to adjust to it. Hopefully I won't starve her while I'm adjusting. So much for crowing about how she'd now eat anything and everything.

Just wanted to document that on Wednesday, her color wasn't too good. Also, her urine output decreased. That may be because she was asleep so much and not drinking. I've had her up today and forcing more liquids into her.

This brings up one of those ethical questions I so despise in caring for my parents at the end of their lives. In my heart of hearts I feel I could just let my mother lay in that bed, clean her body, and feed her meals, and she'd shortly die. I could also continue to force her to get up and move her body, force liquids into her, and continue to force her to bathroom details, and she'd not die as quickly.

When does keeping someone alive become inhumane?

When does it become inhumane to do everything possible to keep an elderly person alive who couldn't do it on their own, who can't control their bodily functions and who has no place of time and place?

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