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Question
Posted by: Anna | 2010/07/09

Grief

HI all, mom was admitted to a state hospital, had a very serious condition, had surgery and passed away. On the Wednesday before her death, we were notified that she had an infection and that the staff was waiting for the doctor to prescribe antibiotics. When the family checked up on her the Friday, there were no doctors prescription, she was left lying there naked and not taken care of. She had a very high fever. Mom passed away the Sunday. We life overseas and the doctors told us not to be worried, and that they will notify us when things start to deteriorate. That call never came. What goes through my mind is how terribly lonely she must have felt. I think what bothers me the most is that on her deathbed not one cared enough to even give her a little blit of water to drink or help her brush her teeth. How do i make sense of this all. I am a daughter in law who cared for her as my own mother. She was such a private person and in her last hours she was stripped of her dignity. Where do i get my answers from? On her death certificate all they say is natural causes. I know i was a good daugther in law for her and she knew we loved her and cared for her greatly. I just want answers - who can i write too? Or should i just leave it and remember the good times. It is so hard. Any advice will be helpful

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like appalling neglect of a sick woman. And I have seen undeniable evidence of such neglect in state hospitals myself. Don't blame yourself, blame those unworthy people who were paid to take good care of her and didn't bother to do so.
This is a tragic story, and I so much wish it were a rare event. One thing to lessen your worry, if she was postop and with a serious fever and infection, its likely that she had little or not awareness of what was going wrong, which may have protected her from feeling lonely and scared in this otherwise lonely and scary situation.
I don't know what remedies are open to you if you live in another country.
But there should be a formal complaint by the family to the police that this was NOT a death from natural causes, so far as you can tell, and probably due to criminal neglect, and call for a proper independent investigation of what happened. Consult a local lawyer to act on your behalf, if you can, and write to complain the the Minister of Health ( our current Minister in SA seems an admirable guy ) and the MEC for health in that provice, as well as notifying the Superintedent of the Hospital that you demand an inquest.
I thopught that when someone dies within a short period of time after an operation, there HAD to be a formal inquest, rather than just allowing those who neglected her to cover things up

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: arsenica | 2010/07/12

Hi,

Not to be cynical, but if you''re living overseas surely you could have helped your mother with a medical aid?

Reply to arsenica
Posted by: anon | 2010/07/09

the same happened to my mom''s aunt. left her walking around naked as she was not all there at the time, noone helped. i dont know, maybe theyre so used to it (the staff) that they dont about the individual. i think it''s heartbreaking.

you cant really do anything about it - can you? im glad to hear that she was so loved by her family, im sure she knows this. dont feel guilty..

kindest regards

Reply to anon
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/07/09

Sounds like appalling neglect of a sick woman. And I have seen undeniable evidence of such neglect in state hospitals myself. Don't blame yourself, blame those unworthy people who were paid to take good care of her and didn't bother to do so.
This is a tragic story, and I so much wish it were a rare event. One thing to lessen your worry, if she was postop and with a serious fever and infection, its likely that she had little or not awareness of what was going wrong, which may have protected her from feeling lonely and scared in this otherwise lonely and scary situation.
I don't know what remedies are open to you if you live in another country.
But there should be a formal complaint by the family to the police that this was NOT a death from natural causes, so far as you can tell, and probably due to criminal neglect, and call for a proper independent investigation of what happened. Consult a local lawyer to act on your behalf, if you can, and write to complain the the Minister of Health ( our current Minister in SA seems an admirable guy ) and the MEC for health in that provice, as well as notifying the Superintedent of the Hospital that you demand an inquest.
I thopught that when someone dies within a short period of time after an operation, there HAD to be a formal inquest, rather than just allowing those who neglected her to cover things up

Reply to cybershrink

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