Oncology and Hospice Nurses Should Read this Article

       Okay, this isn’t the happiest subject to post on a beautiful Friday morning before a weekend, but the topic is important and it’s part of my job to know this stuff. Warning: it’s about end of life treatment for patients with terminal cancer.

      Oncology and Hospice nurses, please read this article in today’s Health section of the New York Times. Whether to turn off pacemakers in the face of terminal illness is a consideration in end of life discussions with patients and their families. Read the article:

Life Saving Devices can Cause Havoc at Life’s End

     Have any reader’s had experiences related to this? 

1 Comment

  1. Happy to have finally stumbled into your blog! 🙂

    Experience with this? Sadly, experience of the worst sort. The patient was alert and fully cognizant of the unnecessary pain and fear caused by the shocks, and remained so until we finally obtained an order to deactivate it. Even more sadly, this took so much time that, by the time the defibrillator was officially ‘de-activated’, there was little time left for the patient. In this particular instance, I backed up a new nurse as she advocated – like a commando – for her patient. Oncology patients are complex enough as it is. This was a whole new ball game for many of our nurses.

    My thanks for bringing others to awareness of this issue!


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