Thursday, October 2, 2008

To be or not to be...

...should be our choice.

One of our residents who has aphasia and a PEG tube, tries to pull the tube away from us when we are administering their medication. To me, this is them telling us that they are refusing their medication. If you have to have a CNA hold the resident's hands and basically force the medication on them, they are refusing. However, this resident does not have power of attorney over their health care any longer. What does this mean? Even though the resident wants to stop treatment, the grandchild, who has power of attorney, is going to keep this person alive until the bitter end.

To top this off, the nurse told me that even if the resident still retained legal control over their health care, we could not take this as a refusal because the resident has aphasia and can't "tell us" that they don't want their medication.

Let this be a lesson folks, make a will, make it early and make sure you are very specific about how you want to be handled in case you are incapacitated or else you might end up in a museum for live corpses.

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