"Poor palliative care"

About: Ipswich Hospital / Palliative medicine

(as a relative),

My husband passed away some time ago now due to cancer. He was admitted to Ipswich Hospital because his cancer was spreading and causing more discomfort. I knew there was nothing that could be done for my husband, cancer-wise, so it was suggested a syringe driver be used to control his pain by his doctor.

I refused this form of pain management and so did my husband but the doctor assured us both that it was not the end of life care, and I believed him. A second doctor again assured me that my husband had at least months left to live. 

Within days of this syringe driver being used, my husband lost the use of his legs, his mind and became unconscious. One week later he passed away. Even some of the nursing staff who had gone off duty to return a day or two later could not believe the decline in my husband and suggested I look at 'Ryan’s Rule'.

I know my husband was poorly and there was no way back from his cancer but my best friend in life was taken from me by this syringe driving practice and you will never convince me that is not a form of legalized euthanasia or worse.

I do not know how these so-called doctors sleep at night with so much power in their hands to destroy lives. 

What has really hurt me the most in all this is my husband always had home visits from the palliative care team from Ipswich Hospital, namely the second doctor mentioned above. They knew my husband well because of those home visits. They have not once phoned to say how sorry they were about my husband's passing which I think is awful. The only one who did was a social worker at Ipswich Hospital. 

Of the nursing staff, most of them were wonderful except for one who seemed to want to talk about funeral arrangements and life after my husband while he was lying there able to hear the insensitive person talking.

My only peace in all this now is that my husband is at peace.

Responses

Response from Sandy Lewis, Senior Consumer Liaison Officer, Clinical Governance, Queensland Health - West Moreton

Dear Really hurting

Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your beloved husband. We can’t imagine how difficult it has been for you to lose your life partner and best friend.

We have spoken with the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) of the Palliative Care Ward about your feedback and she is concerned about the issues you have raised.

The NUM would like to meet with you to listen to your concerns and offer assistance. She could also organise for one of our Palliative Care Consultants to be present so that they could answer your questions about the management of your husband’s pain relief on the ward. If you would prefer not to come in for a meeting, we could also arrange a telephone call between yourself and the relevant staff.

Please be assured we are keen to accommodate your needs and to help in any way we can.

If you would like to speak with the NUM, you are welcome to call the Consumer Liaison Service on 0409 275 503. We would very much welcome your call.

Once again, we are very sorry for your loss and our thoughts are with you during profoundly sad time.

Yours sincerely

Consumer Liaison Service

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by Really hurting (a relative)

Thank you for your response. Sadly though for me it read pretty generic and after reading some of your other responses to negative comments, it is no wonder I have come to that conclusion.

I have no desire to return to Ipswich Hospital or Ipswich itself to speak to anyone. I know what I know and have spoken with truthful clarity.

I believe the Oncologists at Ipswich Hospital will justify their actions, so really nothing they have to say will bring my husband back. I feel they pretend to care but their actions to me prove the opposite. I feel that it is all about administering lethal drug cocktails. When a person has cancer they are vulnerable.

If I could name everyone involved in my husband’s so called care I would.

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