There are myths that cycle in conversations while taking care of client’s who have a terminal, end-of-life condition.  They are worth considering, because many times the myths prevent someone’s comfort, safety and dignity from being protected or managed.

Myth:  “Hospice care is for a person who is just days away from death.”  Combating this unfortunate perspective places the dying person, family and health care teams in crisis mode.

Myth:  “When narcotics are given, people die.”  The use of medications, such as morphine, have persistently been interpreted as what causes death.  The reality is, many people die struggling and suffering in unfortunate ways when narcotics are not utilized.

Myth:  “I just want to die in my sleep.”  What an awesome gift that could be for anyone!  Why does this qualify as a myth to me?  The cowboy gets shot, says a word or two and dies.  The dying person lays in a clean, crisp hospital bed and calmly dies without any sign of suffering by just closing their eyes.  Real life may be NO WHERE like the movies.

We may look at different myths later, these are just three that I meet up with on a daily basis.  How do you think about these topics?


About jackiebates

Experience: Registered Nurse 31 years Hospice Nurse 6 years Certified Hospice Palliative Nurse 4 years Caring for the dying is a passion that continues to grow and motivate me in life. Their intimate situations has allowed me a unique opportunity to help facilitate what others and I can learn about real life. Please teach me, challenge me and help me help others. All material written is copywritten 2011
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2 Responses to Myths

  1. Amanda Carney says:

    Unfortunately myth #3 deceives people into thinking that they don’t have to make any decisions about how that will die. It never ceases to amaze me how many people have never had the conversations about what their wishes are and in the dire circumstances that sometimes precede death we are left emotionally and ethically distraught by the process. Oh that these conversations would take place!!

    • jackiebates says:

      Oh how true! Wonder why people do not have these conversations? Fear and refusal and ackwardness are a couple reason why, I am sure. That emotional and ethical distraughtness is very exhausting and challenges family dynamic too. Whew!

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