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Hospice Care/Morphine as Bronchial dilator


someone wrote at 2013-10-16 18:04:43
I found my way here googling morphine+dilate+lungs because my mother's hospice nurse wants to start her on morphine, even though she's not in pain. She too says that it will help her breathing, which seems pretty counterintuitive to me, as I've always understood all opiates to depress respiration. My mother's not even having that much trouble breathing. She's on supplemental oxygen, but only occasionally short of breath. She has a terrible cough, but the nurse didn't say that the morphine would help that. She's also weak and confused and miserable and ready to die.

My mother is not in a state with legal assisted suicide. My suspicion is that the nurse is giving a bogus reason for starting the morphine in order to give us the means to help her go.  

Hospice Care

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Christine Johnson


I can give suggestions, encouragement and direction on what hospice is and is not, when it is appropriate, and how to go about getting it. I am familiar with Medicaid and Medicare hospice benefits. I can answer general questions about disease process, what dying looks like, how hospice handles pain and other symptoms, what to expect from a hospice when end of life nears. I can provide support, direction and encouragement related to spiritual matters and psychological matters related to death and dying.


I am a certified hospice and palliative care nurse, and have been the director of nurses for three hospice centers, under two different companies. I have also worked as a contract hospice nurse for a large American hospice company. On a personal level, my father died without benefit of hospice (it was not popular then). I have taken care of dying patients in hospitals and recognize that for most of us, it is preferable to die at home (or in our residence, wherever that may be), comfortably and without anxiety. Also I had no support when my father died; hospice clients are the whole family (however that is defined by the "patient"), and support is provided at least a year after the patient passes. These are the sorts of things (and probably others) that I can help with.

HPNA (Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association)

none yet

Registered Nurse (TX), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (TX) ADN Nursing, Excelsior College, Albany, New York (2004) 4.0 GPA BA, Psychology (minor Social Work), Oklahoma University, Norman, OK (1986) 3.67 GPA MHR (MA) Human Relations, Oklahoma University, Norman, OK (1988) 3.5 GPA

Awards and Honors
Phi Beta Kappa (and others)

Past/Present Clients
Unable to name as this would violate their privacy (and HIPAA....)

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