Dotsie wrote:Or maybe towards the end I would want to escape the pain, mine and theirs.
This is the clincher - I got so furious with my father when he wanted to come out of the hospice before they got him fully stabilised on his palliative medication so he could come home to die as comfortably as possible for my mother's sake
. He got mad right back at me and said he was fed up with being used as a crash test dummy (for ascertaining the balance of drugs to help him die) and didn't care about the pain anymore. Mum wouldn't 'make' him stay, so he got his wish and he took almost 3 months more to die, in the end totally incontinent, refusing to eat and hallucinating with the increasing doses of morphine.
I couldn't blame him for the decision of course, so we got over the row we had, but still I wish he'd stuck it out for another week, or even that weekend, just so it gave them time to sort out practical things for mum for his ongoing care at home. As it was he was getting bed sores ahead of a specialised bed becoming available and things like learning how to attach and change a colostomy bag all had to be done ad hoc at home where there wasn't the nursing care on tap, until he was much nearer termination and so it was all too reactive and so hurried at times that my mum's ability to cope was near disintegration on several occasions and a few times it came close to dad having to go back into the hospice again, which was the exact thing he was trying to avoid when he had his little tantrum.
He was scared he wasn't going to come out of there I think and maybe, if he'd had the option of choosing to take something instead of having to go for palliative assessment, things would have been so much different for all of us. From that perspective the Dignitas potion simply represents peace of mind for the patient and for their family and maybe bypasses the most distressing phase of all for everyone's sake. My mum wanted him home with her whatever and would do it again no matter what but I couldn't watch anyone go through that and I won't put anyone else through it on my own behalf if it's possible to avoid it.