Medical Nightmare: Doctors won’t let wife act on behalf of ailing husband
AJAX, Ontario, Canada, July 20, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – An Ontario woman is crying foul after a team of doctors effectively denied the woman her legal right to act on behalf of her husband who was hospitalized after a stroke. The woman is fighting to regain control of her husband’s medical treatment.
“I don’t understand why this is happening,” said Marilyn Nelson who spoke of her ordeal to Michael Coren last week on The Arena.
Maryilyn’s ordeal began two years ago when her husband Arthur, now 69, had a serious stroke from which he lost his speech and became bedridden. Once Arthur was hospitalized at the Ajax & Pickering Hospital, Marilyn said that she noticed that he was becoming less present to his surroundings and that he had “started staring into space like a zombie.”
Marilyn became suspicious that her husband’s rapidly deteriorating condition was not due to his stroke, but due to the numerous drugs doctors were administering to him. One drug, she says, was Zyprexa, an anti-schizophrenia drug that has had tens of thousands of lawsuits brought against its manufacturer, Eli Lilly & Co., for failure to disclose the drug’s severe side effects. Pictures show the once robust and fit Arthur lying on a hospital bed, a mere skeleton of a man.
“I went to the library and I researched the drugs, and to my horror I found out that most of the drugs that he was on all caused stroke,” she said.
“I was horrified. I thought it was just some kind of a mistake.”
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Marilyn met with her husband’s team of doctors who not only refused to change his drug regimen, but threatened that if she did not comply with the drug plan, she would loose her legal power of attorney over her husband.
“Not only did the meds not get changed, but I was threatened over and over,” she said.
One doctor allegedly told Marilyn: “One of us has to go, and it’s going to be you.”
“I was just telling them the truth as I knew it, hoping that they would change the meds, but it didn’t happen that way,” she said. “They have never honored my legal power of attorney.”
She alleges that doctors were responsible for bringing her before the Consent and Capacity Board so that she could be deemed “incapacitated” to represent her husband.
“They’ve put him on palliative care against the wishes of the family,” she said, adding that he is not receiving adequate hydration.
Not only this, but Marilyn says that she was barred from visiting her husband in December, but has since regained permission to visit under supervision.
While Marilyn Nelson’s case has received attention from Seniors at Risk, a non-government organization that acts as an advocated for families who have witnessed their loved ones suffer institutional elder abuse by health care providers, she is worried that help might come to her husband too late.
“I have no idea why this is going on,” she said.
But Alex Schadenberg, director of Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told LifeSiteNews.com that Marilyn’s medical nightmare is “another example of a situation where people are loosing their rights to properly control the healthcare of their family members.”
Schadenberg pointed out that such a case as this, in which doctors are administering a method of treatment contrary to the wishes of the patient’s legal representative, highlights “how bad it could get” if Canada were ever to legalize euthanasia.
“If euthanasia were in place, and if it were defined as a form of ‘medical treatment’, as the euthanasia lobby proposes, it is possible that doctors could use this against the will of people, just like we’ve seen in the Netherlands.”
Euthanasia tenuously remains prohibited in Canada, with the federal government having recently appealed a court ruling in British Columbia that sought to overturn the country’s ban on the procedure.
“Putting this in perspective, if doctors are already imposing decision on patients as ‘medical treatment,’ how long does it take before they start imposing euthanasia and assisted suicide on patients as a form of ‘medical treatment’?” he asked.
Schadenberg pointed out that many doctors would not proscribe such treatment, but added that “there will always be some who will abuse the power that they have been given to take lives.”
“It will occur here in Canada if euthanasia is legalized, just as it now occurs in countries, such as the Netherlands, that have already legalized euthanasia,” he said.