parasitic behavior in terminal care

Also in terminal care we find a lot of parasitic behavior. Take a client who has fallen seriously ill and suffers her whole life from the dominant yoke of her husband. A man who says that she needs to continue eating and drinking and demands that she should eat a hearty meal. And as a result she stays alive and cannot suffer any pain he declares.

He is so strong in his dominance that despite the fact that she has no appetite she obeys her husband  and do not tell him that she suffers from pain. However, her facial features speak for themselves. Only when explaining to the adult children about what is happening at home and why it is not good for the patient, the home care gets support from these children and the patient can tell what she really needs.

Unfortunately, the treating physicians do not understand that she is already in agony for so many days and so she has not yet any pain control and the dosage starts at a too low dosage. The patient dies a few days later without being able to have any mourning process and still in a lot of pain.

 Also cries like, “where has your fighting spirit gone?” “As a parent you should not stand at your child’s grave” “we will not talk about dying”, can make someone just keeps continuing treatment, while the patient in fact feels that his body calls him to stop and surrender. But as spouses, children or caretakers are behind in the mourning process (or never will be ready) they afflict the dying with their separation anxiety and indirect demand the patient to continue fighting.

 Providing a dying with food and beverages while the patient no longer wants them (organs are already failing) means that the metabolism no longer can handle it with the result more and protracted suffering. It is all about fear, ego and ignorance. Categorically not willing to listen to the patient or the care giver is very hurtful to the patient. Also not listen or want to have a conversation with health care providers on this subject is very disturbing behavior.

 After all, putting your own dogmatic requirements by the patient is “sucking out the patient completely” as you still have no knowledge about life, neither are you willing to learn. Self-centeredness from family f.i. make that a patient has to suffer more than necessary as incomprehension about life is what they show and they are not willing to learn about life now that there is an opportunity.

Also, there are people who are afraid for a pump (morphine) at the end of their lives. They show lack of any kind of knowledge that one does not have to suffer pain and that you do not die of morphine with such a gradual release but that you will be treated gently (Palliative) and suffer less from pain and  tightness of the chest.

 Are they then suitable for their profession? It would be better in such cases to have another (cutting ropes) conversation the next day with the patient, rather than to let the patient wait a whole week while suffering. Next is to determinate when to act.


Pauline Laumans

Holistic therapist and life coach

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