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My dad died, feeling guilty

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Hi everyone.

My dad died a few weeks ago. I've been struggling alot. The past few days have been a bit better, but tomorrow we have to pick up my dad's ashes. I've been dreading it. 

I keep thinking of my dad's death. It's a long story, he was already in poor health and a medical error caused a snowball effect that worsened it. He had alot of surgeries and we tried everything. 

One of the doctors came up to me and said with all of my dad's conditions she doesn't feel he will heal and he should stop his dialysis treatments and start hospice. I was told this out of nowhere as the surgeon gave us hope he would be ok. It was the first we heard of it and she just told me this in a hallway and immediately went on fb on her phone and was scrolling. 

It immediately made me angry and I told her we want to give my dad more time as everything had just happened and we wanted him to have time to heal. She continued harassing me and guilting me daily that I was making my dad suffer. She consulted with other doctors and asked my dad's nephrologist to come and talk to me. 

He basically told me how selfish I was being and should just let my dad go. My dad barely had time to heal and the surgeon never gave us any idea things wouldn't be successful until much later. 

It's bad enough my dad died but that hospital made me feel like a monster. I would never do anything to make my dad suffer, the way they handled it was awful. I signed the paperwork to end things but it still torments me. I wanted to give my dad more time but things got worse and I didn't want my dad to suffer. 

I just keep thinking of his death over and over. I felt pressured into making the decision at the end and I wish I would have asked more questions and given myself more time to think. I feel I let my dad down after trying to protect him for so long. 

He died not long after do maybe it was just his time, but I feel awful about how I handled things. Now picking up his ashes tomorrow feels like more then I can take 😢

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I'm sorry to hear that you lost your father. 

The one thing at this point is trying not to blame yourself. You did not cause the medical error and it sounds that you were awfully pressured and running out of options. 

Out of things medical students are taught in school, I don't think they spend a whole lot of time at all teaching doctors, nurses, and other specialists in the medical field to-be how to tell a person that they're dying and what to say. I don't think they do much on educating them on how to bring this up to a grieving family, either. They are taught to look at the medical perspective of, "Medically, what can be or can't be done for this person?" Some people are better at delivering such news than others, that's for sure. It sounded like the doctor here that confronted you was being rather impersonal being on the phone, it wasn't appropriate to do that in front of you. Doctors also deal with death on a daily basis, especially in a hospital, and might not have thought much about this. 

Have you considered filing a complaint with the hospital about this incident? It's NEVER okay for a doctor to call you selfish when you're the one grieving and being held to making the best possible decisions you can in the midst of your hurt. That was disrespectful. A complaint should be filed with the hospital or that doctors supervisor. 

Have you considered filing a "quality of care" grievance with his health insurance on behalf of your father - sometimes insurances make a note of it if a member or their loved ones were treated terribly at a facility. You may need to look at that insurance's rules and what they consider a grievance here, but it might be able to be done (what this does is complain about a hospital, nursing home, doctors officer, or other medical facility to the insurance and they do make their own determinations about such places as they see fit)?

You mentioned a medical error. Was this proven medical error to the point where some benefit could be claimed and was given to your father? People often sue over these things, especially if it resulted in a death. Although, I know courtrooms and lawyers are often the last thing people want to deal with while grieving because it's an exhausting process.

(You don't have to answer my questions, you can take them and ask yourself as these things can help, too).

I was watching a Hallmark movie and there was a death scenario in a hospital and the nurse in the movie was pressing the family for an organ donation and whatever. There was a woman watching this with me that was a former nurse, and she started ranting, "I hate it! This is one of the things I HATED about nursing! They often press families that are grieving to take their loved ones off of life support for some reason or another and it's wrong!" So, I assume this isn't an uncommon thing. 

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