#7287
Prabhjot
Member

A few months ago we had a patient who was brought from home to the Palliative Unit for end of life because the family were feeling burnout. The patient was of Middle Eastern decent and there were many cultural considerations involved. The main being patriarchy as the patient had 2 sons, 1 which was the designated POA. There were 2 instances where one of the sons cornered me in the hallway and preceded to interrogate me on the medication we were administering to his Father because he is too sleepy and not eating. My coworkers recognized that perhaps this could escalate into a more serious altercation and they hovered in the background showing support and were ready to step in if I needed them. I explained that our intent is to treat his Father’s symptoms of pain and restlessness with medications that may cause some sedation. The son was visibly angry and quite abrasive in his approach. The following day the POA and I sat down with his brother and he apologized for his behaviour and we talked about the guilt they were all feeling for not being able to take care of their Father at home. I also called the MRP and scheduled a family meeting to go over our goals of care and disease trajectory again and validate their feeling and reassure them that they should be proud of what they were able to do for their Father to keep him home for so long. In the end, there were many compromises in trying to balance wakefulness with symptom management, but I feel we were able to accommodate their need to stay in control for as long as they could provide care for their Father before they were ready to allow us to take over.