Diabetes patient persists in hospice care without treatment

A diabetic has been on hospice care for several months without treatment. A reader worries the longevity could increase the risks of other, more painful ailments prior to his father's death.



November 18, 2022 - 2:11 PM

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DEAR DR. ROACH: My dad has been on hospice care for several months now. He had an untreated wound infection that was not responding to meds, so he went on hospice. Also, his wife died, and he lost the will to live after that.

His sugars are well into the 400s. He is on pain meds and nothing else. His doctor says he should not have lasted this long, medically speaking. He gave me no other explanation except a shrug. 

His spirits are OK, but I fear something else will get him in the end, like bed sores, pneumonia, a fall or COVID. Is it normal for a diabetes patient who no longer takes their medication to linger like this? He is not suffering per se, but quality of life is not good either. — H.D.

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