Husband had terminal cancer, was taken off at home hospice care, due to uncontrolled pain, and placed in hospice hospital. The nurse decided to skip a dose of his pain medication because he was sick to his stomach. He had been on very high levels of methadone for months prior to entering the hospital. I told the nurse she should not do this and to please speak to the doctor about it. She skipped the dose anyway. Basically lead him into withdrawals and agonizing pain that took a week of screaming misery to get under control. Finally under control he was placed back at home. Sent home IV pump that administered pain medications and at one point they let the pump go empty even though I was contacting them several time telling them it was going to run out. The machine was flashing alerts at me and they took no action until after it ran out and created another major pain crisis. Fast forward a few weeks, he was readmitted during his last couple of weeks of life. The man was bed ridden and unable to walk when they admitted him but I would receive notices that he had fallen on many occasions. Many terrible errors where made. Death took place 1 year ago.
Sorry for your loss. I recommend that you speak to local medical malpractice lawyers to explore possible legal options. From my perspective, although I do not practice law in your state, there is a pain and suffering component that is worth looking into. Consulting legal counsel needs to be done ASAP because of short statutes of limitations governing med mal matters. The consultation is customarily without obligation and without cost. Best of luck.
Speak to a medical malpractice attorney. They will have to get copies of the medical records in order to determine the extent to which there may have been a deviation in the standard of care as well as the injuries/damages caused by the deviation.
Very difficult case. Your attorney will be required to separate the pain and suffering your husband suffered due to neglect from that due to his last illness for which he was suffering and on pain meds. More than likely, the local physician who deals with hospice daily will not be of help to you. In Texas, you have very onerous report requirements and potential for appeals prior to even going to court, due to this being under the Tort Reform laws protecting health care providers. I am sorry for your loss, but you may have to move on and know that you were there for him and did the best you could. Sorry I can't tell you what you were probably hoping to hear but I did this work for over 20 years and Tort Reform has slammed the courthouse doors shut in Texas.
I'm sorry to hear about your loss. In reading the responses, the lawyers from Texas offer what is probably very good insight into the situation there regarding this claim. I note a recommendation to get the records, which is always the first order of business. However, another hurdle you face is that much of this probably wasn't put into the records in the first place. With that in mind, getting the records may or may not make you feel much better about the situation. Its best to consult with a local medical malpractice attorney.
An attorney from your state responded this was a very difficult case and maybe the best course is to move on. Perhaps he is right especially since you are in Texas and for whatever reason you folks voted for tea party Republicans who convinced you there were all these frivolous lawsuits being filed--patently false--you you needed this so-called tort reform which effectively closed the courthouse doors in Texas to ordinary folks seeking some modicum of justice in medical negligence claims. You got what you voted for. These laws have likely poisoned the jury pool and even if a claim makes it to a jury you may be turned away by your fellow citizens. If those hurdles can be overcome and of course if it can be shown that the care and treatment your husband received fell below the applicable standard of what ordinary practitioners would have done or would not have done, I might take this case if I was in your state. Your poor dear husband was nearing the end of his life; he knew it, you knew. When you only have a short time left that time is the most precious. What do people want --to die in agony or to die a peaceful death. There are many Roman Catholic prayers petition for a happy and peaceful death. Many are prayers to St. Joseph; the patron of a happy death. The prayer to St. Theresa the Little Flower is as follows: I ardently beseech thee, dear Saint Therese, to obtain from Almighty God this grace, that with Mary and Joseph at my side I may die a peaceful and holy death strengthened by the sacraments of the Church and entirely resigned to God's will. May my last words on earth be the dying prayer thou didst utter: "My God...I love Thee!" Amen. The Jews have many prayers as well regarding a happy death. The time between life and death is considered extremely sacred in Jewish tradition. On one hand, the passage marks the conclusion of the soul's journey on earth. On the other hand, death heralds the beginning of the soul's eternal life in Heaven. Kabbalah teaches that at the moment of passing, every positive thought, word, or deed that occurred during the person's life is concentrated into a pristine spiritual light. This light is revealed to the world and in the Heavenly spheres, where it continues to shine and have an effect on those above and below: A Song of Ascents.
I lift my eyes to the mountains -- from where will my help come?
My help will come from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot falter; your guardian does not slumber.
Indeed, the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
The Lord is your guardian; the Lord is your protective shade at your right hand.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will guard you from all evil; He will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and your coming from now and for all time.
Many attorneys may say that even if liability can be shown what would be the likely jury verdict for someone close to death. My response is that there was no reason to allow him to suffer in his final days. That was simply cruel and disgusting--evil. If you are serious about bringing the claim I have to believe there is an attorney in Texas who would advocate for your husband. I am sorry for your loss.
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