Doctors giving up: Why do the doctors keep saying... - ICUsteps

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Doctors giving up


Why do the doctors keep saying there’s no chance of survival, quality of life and that the condition looks really bad for the patient only 11 days in ICU?

9 Replies

This has to be so hard for you. I think only the medical staff can answer your question, or maybe his assigned nurse can explain how decisions are made. Take care of yourself best you can.

They’re telling you this bcuz they see it as scientific truth and want to prepare you for the worst. Expect the worst hope for the best. And 11 days in ICU in an induced state is a while. I’m sorry if I’m really real on this subject but would you honestly want to be in this world with only 10or 20% of your brain function? That’s not even enough to have control of your bodily functions. See if you can talk to one of the medical directors to get more clarity on what’s happening. Best wishes on this journey

Unfortunately they see similar conditions in other patients constantly, statements like this come out of years of seeing the same thing.

Something I learnt 20 yrs ago when my father died - - he had cancer that was diagnosed very late and went under exploratory surgery. They opened him up and closed him again.

The doctor told me if they attempted anything he would probably have died on the operating table.

I asked the usual question "how long does he have to live".

The surgeon told me "in his EXPERIENCE, about 6 weeks"

My father died 6 weeks and 2 days later.

My mother died late christmas eve last year in the hospital emergency room.

She was 79. There was very clear negligence involved.

But at the same time I have also had opportunity to give her death (and survival) plenty of thought.

Had the medical team followed usual protocol, she would have gone under extensive surgery, then into ICU and be put on mechanical ventilation.

At her age, frail condition and other medical issues, it simply would have been cruel to put her through all of that.

I would have forced the medical team to put her through all of that - probably for my benefit as not to lose a loved one - something incredibly selfish. Had roles been reversed and I were the patient at the time, I would have said no, dont proceed.

I am certain were my mother conscious at the time she too would have told them not to proceed.

This all bring me back to your boyfriend.

As I understand things, he will have near zero quality of life should he survive - and at such a young age - would he wish to survive in that state ?

If you were him, would you wish to survive in that state ?

These are unfortunately some of the hideous choices we sometimes have to face in life, they are truly terrible - and I feel for you - your anguish, your fear, your desperation, your loneliness - I've been there.

I seem to recall you being muslim. Go speak to your Imam, go speak to your own doctor, get the help you need. While you are trying to be brave through this ordeal, recognize you also need support.

The time may well come when the family decides to withdraw medical support and let your boyfriend go. This will probably be the very worst moment in their lives.

It's highly unlikely they will allow you to be present - death is probably the most intimate and private moment in anyone's existence.

You also need to prepare for this. Beg and plead with a senior family member to allow you a little time with your boyfriend before this takes place - even a day before - not necessarily hours before.

Find out when termination of medical support will be scheduled, take the day off work.

Go to your mosque and spend that time there, hospitals also have "prayer rooms" available.

Or go to a nice quiet place - a park or something similar - put some of your and your boyfriend's favorite music on your phone - take some earphones and listen to that music.

Like his family, this is going to be a moment that will remain etched in your memory for the rest of your life - try make it a good memory, despite the terrible circumstances.

I'll use my mother an an example again.

I have no siblings, nor do I have relatives in the city.

My mother wanted to be cremated, she was quite specific in that she did not want either a funeral or memorial service.

I chose Aquamation instead of cremation (aquamation was simply not available at the time she expressed her wishes).

On the day I went to the funeral home - I was on my own, nobody with me.

I told the funeral home I would like to spend a few minutes with her before the process began. I spent a few minutes with her, then told them I was ready and they could take her body.

As they took her body through to the room containing the Aquamator I put earphones in my ears, the door closed as they took her body into the room & I pressed "play", walked out of the viewing room and into the garden courtyard. I spent the next half hour or so there listening to her favorite music.

I have never felt so isolated in my life, but at the same time I was left alone with my own thoughts and memories for that period.

Since that day, friends and family have asked me how I coped.

My answer is simple - I would do it again and again a hundred times over.

I was left alone to my own thoughts and memories - i switched back and forth between songs my mother enjoyed.

I left about half an hour later. Although an unpleasant point in time of my life, my memories of it are good.

My hope for you is that you figure out a way to make peace with yourself and what may lie ahead. Take ownership of what you may have to endure, prepare for it and manage it in a way that may help give you peace and comfort at the time - and going forward in bringing some comfort when remembering what you have had to go through.

in reply to Grant_za

Thank you for sharing that and I’m truly sorry about your parents. However, I know in my heart he’s going to pull through and beat all the odds, there’s something telling me he will wake up and live a normal life

I am sorry you are having such distressing news about your boyfriend. I hope you can talk to the medical staff and ask about this and what it means. Have you anyone to support you at this difficult time. You need friends and family to support you through this. It is very upsetting.

Trust your instinct. After a month in an induced coma, I was told my prognosis was “not good.” They thought I would be brain damaged. I’m not. That was six years ago. I do have health problems but I’m alive and grateful for it. My doctors may have given up, but I didn’t.

It’s so hard to know what to so in this situation. I know I was expected not to survive my ITU admission yet here I am five weeks later almost back to normal!

Sometimes there is absolutely nothing else they can do though. Without your brain, you essentially can’t function. Do you know if they have done tests to confirm his brain stem isn’t functioning? I always think as well, would you want to be kept alive if it was you in that position?

Sounds like you need to sit down with the drs for a proper chat about things xx

I know everyones situation is different and there is significant damage to your boyfriends brain due to the lack of oxygen.

However, my mum was rushed into ICU on the 4th of January and the first thought was bleed on the brain, they counted that out and went through all sort of tests and said shed never lead a normal life and she will have extreme neurological problems.

She woke after 14 days sedated. 25 days in icu and shes now at home and can lead a normal life.

Think the worst and work your way up.

Prayers are with you and your boyfriend xxx

I spent 9 weeks in ICU 4 years ago. The doctors were pretty negative about my chances when talking to my wife – it's probably a wise way of treating the situation.

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