Hey, wanna solve a mystery?
Say, for example, you know someone that is sick and dying (could be 6 weeks, could be 6 years).

This person is old enough to die without raising suspicion, so to do so would not be unusual (dying that is). But there is no active disease process present to cause death – just the disintegration of the mind, the necessity to wear diapers and the inability to swallow appropriately to eat.

This person has been in a rehab/nursing facility for about 8 yes.

A DNR is in place and this was the disabled person’s choice since 1999, when the stroke occurred. (whaszza DNR? look it up!!!!)

About a week ago, this individual decided to stop eating (nigh a tiny piece of dark chocolate with raspberry), stop drinking fluids. Two days later, medicines are refused; held in the mouth and then spit out, or forcibly knocked out of the nurses’ hand (how ruuudddde!)

OK. Here is the hard part. Do we (me and the medical team) honor the DNR verbatimĀ  (no “heroic intervention: comfort measures only) and allow the patient to basically off themselves via starvation?

Do we force nutrition by installing a central or PIC and an NG tube (there’s another abbreviation for you to Google)?

Or do we start an IV for a route through which we can safely administer meds?

Does an IV violate the terms of the DNR??? Does the feeding tube? The DNR states no heroic measures – is a feeding tube a heroic measure – as it would easeĀ  discomfort from malnutrition.

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