A family finds themselves facing an eviction notice. The patient is now on oxygen 24 hours a day and understandably so, in need of stabilized living.  This is a family of three with one working family member.  They needed to find a new place to live within their budget. They were able to […]

A patient’s wife is dependent on her ailing husbands’ income and she had been his primary caregiver through his long illness. Upon his passing the wife is very much aware that her life has changed drastically and she must move on to the next chapter in her life without him. She is focused on getting […]

  A patient’ husband whose job has been an on the road truck driver must now quit his job to care for his wife as her illness has progressed rapidly. They had their savings and knew after that, their only source of income was the wife’ social security check and SSI money. The monthly bills […]

An elderly patient lives in a very old downtown hotel that has no air conditioning.  The patient suffers from COPD, a progressive lung disease that affects the airways in his lungs. His COPD disease makes breathing more difficult and significantly reduces his ability to do activities.   He finds himself spending more and more time in […]

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To sum up: The definition of physician-assisted suicide: With physician-assisted suicide (PAS), following a patient-initiated request, a physician provides the means for the patient to end his or her life. Typically, the physician offers counseling, information and instruction, prescribes (and sometimes delivers) medications but does not otherwise participate in the final act. The presence of […]

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The case studies of Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan, Terri Schiavo and others show that the courts were moving toward a greater acceptance of the right-to-die long before any legislation was passed that allowed physician-assisted suicide. As I indicated at the beginning of these blogs, only one state had approved physician-assisted suicide by 1995. That […]

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I mentioned two landmark cases in my previous blog – Karen Ann Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan. The ethical question for Quinlan involved not only the principle of autonomy but also beneficence and nonmaleficence. The Quinlans believed that the ventilator was intrusive and harmful to Karen (“do no harm”). Likewise, they believed that the thing most […]

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As someone who has developed and trained hospice ethics committees since 1991, I have always stressed that ethics committees should use a principle-based approach. That is, they should look at the situation in light of well-established ethical principles. These principles are generally recognized as beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, justice and fidelity. The principles of beneficence and […]

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I digress a bit from my blog on assisted-suicide to reflect on the “right to die.” On April 15, 1975, I was working on a doctoral degree at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. The university is located just a few miles from the Newton Memorial Hospital, where on that day a bright and energetic […]

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Wikipedia defines physician-assisted suicide as “suicide committed with the aid of another person, sometimes a doctor’ and it has been described as “medical aid in dying in the United States for terminally ill, mentally capable adults who self-administer medication to shorten their own dying process.” As the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was being discussed as […]

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Neil Gorsuch, Hospice and the Right to Die One of the most haunting and disturbing images in American literature is Thomas Wolfe’s description of the death of his own brother as depicted by Ben Gant in LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL. “Ben’s thin lips were lifted in a constant grimace of torture and strangulation, (and the) sound […]

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A patient’s family knows exactly what will help bring their loved one some joy and comfort in their challenging time – with the assistance of their social worker their special need request was for a comfort doll. (more…)

A husband’s wife who is his primary caregiver has multiple health challenges and physical limitations that she must also contend with in addition to providing assistance to her ailing husband. The wife was dependent financially on her husband’s income. After her husbands’ passing the wife filed for disability and was initially denied. (more…)

One too many unseasonal cold snaps in the weather cause a patient and his daughter to use more electricity than usual to help keep them warm. Their utility bill is almost twice as much. The daughter works hard in the hospitality industry and is the only working adult in the home. (more…)

A patient’s young wife must quit her job to take care of her husband fulltime during his illness. Already in financial straits and surviving initially on the patients’ social security check, upon the death of the patient the family lost that source of income. (more…)

A patient’s husband is unable to work as he must stay home to take care of his terminally ill wife. The social worker advises this family’s finances have been stressed beyond the maximum and are now in danger of losing their phone service and some utilities are getting ready to be turned down as well. (more…)

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A patient’s wife knows that it is time to schedule a leave of absence from work so she can stay home to help take care of her husband whose health is progressively failing. She wants to do all she can to bring him some comfort. (more…)

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A patient’s health condition requires him to use his home heating and home oxygen service more than he had used before causing a spike in his utility bill. It quickly became difficult to manage financially and keep his bills current. (more…)

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A young couple’s second child is born with a life limiting terminal illness. Dad is the only source of financial income and mom is the primary caregiver at home for both children. They have very little family and community resources available to them.
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A wife who was a long time caregiver to her husband who just recently passed away from his terminal illness found herself with his passing with no job, no income, and bills to pay. She was able to receive some support from family and other community resources but her rent was still unpaid.
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