Ozzy's Corner

A view from the Libertarian Left. With no spin

For Hilda


DSC_0106Hilda Margaret Elizabeth Sanderson 1935 – 2013

Yesterday, on Tuesday 9th July, my dear mother-in-law died in Dewsbury Hospital.

After being severely affected by one stroke some days earlier, a week last Saturday she suffered a second one. This one did such immense damage that recovery was impossible.

With great sadness, she was placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway. Care is quite an odd description for a process where essentially a person is deprived of food and water, being allowed to slowly die while just being given drugs to ease the pain.

One cannot watch a loved one slowly die in such a fashion and consider it anything other than cruel. Watching them just waste and fade away, not knowing if they can see or hear you. You are torn between wanting them to hang on, and the guilt of wanting them just to let go and stop the suffering. Once she had finally gone, it good to know she looked in peace and at rest. No more suffering.

Hilda hung on for seven days.

I cannot escape the idea that once someone is deemed so ill to be put on the LCP, then surely for humanities sake leaving them for days to die is much worse than allowing a form of euthanasia. This should be severely limited, but someone on the LCP is going to die. In reality, the LCP is a form of euthanasia.

Hilda Margaret Elizabeth Sanderson was a wonderful lady who deserved more dignity at the end of her life, more dignity than the LCP offers.

Update 11th July 2013

Today, as per Hilda’s final wishes, her three cats were put to sleep. They died quickly, painlessly and with much more dignity than Hilda herself.

7 thoughts on “For Hilda

  1. I feel exactly the same about the four days that my mother spent at my father’s bedside waiting for him to die. The current refusal to help speed the inevitable is profoundly cruel on the living. There has to be a better way.

    I’m glad that your mother-in-law is now safe and you need not worry about her comfort anymore but I’m sorry that all of you will miss her.

    • We are grateful the suffering is over.

      We all miss her terribly, even Joseph misses telling her about his new Skylander characters.

      This suffering will has occurred to many families in the past and will happen even more going forward. Surely things have to change.

  2. Garry, sorry to hear this sad news. I understand your pain. The cruelness of the long and pointless death. In the long, cruel years and months before, confused by dementia, I am sure she felt the love, and that is what you must now hold close to you. My thoughts are with you all, x

    • Thank you for your kind words Pam.

      Sadly, out there are thousands and thousands of Hilda’s and your own Mum. This is why a change in the law is so desperately needed.

  3. Garry sorry to hear of your sad loss of Hilda on the LCP. I have never agreed to letting a loved one go like this without water or food, although it is a form of euthanasia without being called the word it still amounts to the same thing. It is terrible to watch someone slowly ebb away and wait for that final moment when they draw their last breath as my mother watched my father die the same way. What you must remember are the good things and the way she lived her life and the person she was too and not be too drawn in about the LCP but and this is a but the law needs to change and I believe it has if my ears are correct as of this week, I might be wrong but I believe so. What saddens me more is to hear that Hilda’s last wishes were for her three cats to be put to sleep on her death. I love my three cats and would like to think that someone out there would love them as much as I do but that’s my thoughts entirely and not every one would agree on these.

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