I am always surprised how easy it is for people to make decisions for their pets when they are too ill and need to be euthanized.
When it comes to health decisions for family members there are so many barriers including emotional ones. I find that even healthcare professionals cannot agree on the use of morphine for end stages of cancer. The main reason for addiction and to work around the reasoning does not make sense especially when the patient is termiinally ill and experiencing pain.
Somehow, there appears to be difficulty in making that responsible decision, yes the patient will die but given the morphine he/she will have an easier transition. This includes the family who are caught in the middle having to support their loved one and witnessing the suffering, feeling helpless and being forced to be put in advocacy situation.
It has been twenty years since my father passed away from cancer who in his last days was in severe pain and every dose of morphine had to be begged from the treating physician who was concerned about addiction for my father who only had days to live.
In a recent article on BBC World News the reader is informed patients in the USA and the UK are given morphine if needed but in Third countries availability is a problem. We are introduced to Joyce dying in a Uganda hospital in agony due to pain and a lack of available morphine.
The poignant part of Joyce and other patients who are dying in needless pain is that this issue needs to be addressed as a priority regardless of where one lives that patients have the right to die in dignity and painfree. Unfortunately, those who can be spokespersons pass on and the family members traumatized by the events rarely have the energy to address this. So, it is up to responsible individuals who need to address this issue now in the hopes there will be guidelines in place if they should ever require such humane care.
Hospices are a vital link to dying at home or home setting with all the available resources at hand. Many are associated with local hospitals and are able to provide services and special attention to services than on an ordinary ward. They have specialists and may assist getting through the red tape for pain management. Hospice is a vital option to those who require support both in services and to the family.