Dying in isolation
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Dying in isolation

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Recently I received a phone call from a hospital in another state saying that my dad had been admitted to a hospital with double pneumonia and congestive heart failure. His medical instructions were that he was not to be kept alive. The doctor wanted to check with me to see if they should treat him or not. I asked if she had spoken with his wife. The doctor didn’t even know he had a wife, so I connected them.

My father is past saving. He is dying. But because COVID-19 is suspected, even his wife cannot visit him. He is dying alone.

In this day of widespread social media there should be a requirement that hospitals set up two-way communication (FaceTime? Livestreaming?) for those who are dying so that they can connect with family and spiritual counselors during this time of isolation. To let a person die alone is very cruel. To keep their spouses from them is equally cruel. I am hoping that others will see the problem, and that those with political clout will use it to spare our people from dying alone.

Sheri Schofield

Helena

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