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My poor old mum (87) has dementia, and was living in a care home. 6 month ago she had a severe stroke which left her paralysed down one side and with very little movement on the other. She lost all speech and also the swallow reflex. The hospital, presumably wanting to ship her out as soon as possible, fitted a PEG and she returned to the care home (to the nursing wing). To their credit they have looked after her well, she was able to communicate with facial expression and some sounds, and she was able to sit in a chair (moved with a sling) etc.
A couple of months ago she had a bout of illness and it seemed she was at the end, and although it looked like pneumonia was going to get her she fought through and is still going. However she has had more mini stokes and is now completely unable to move and totally unresponsive, We were told the only thing keeping her alive is the PEG, and we should consider intervention - ie stop the feeds. We agonised for a couple of weeks, watched her having no life at all, no chance of improvement, researched it and found that although it seems a cruel thing to do, people in her situation don't feel thirst and hunger the way healthy people do and she wouldn't suffer. So we finally made the decision that PEG feeding treatment should be withdrawn. Then we were told, no they can't do that, it's not legal, so now we're back to watching her die VERY slowly, waiting for the next major infection to end her suffering.
Has anyone come across this before? Can't we stop the PEG in the same way a ventilator would be turned off?
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