They usually won’t tell you this beforehand, but there comes a point in hospice care where the usual restrictions about medicine dosage and usage becomes, let us say, somewhat more casual. The rules are in place to control the abuse of very dangerous and addicting drugs, after all. But when the end comes, no one in their right mind is going to be worrying about addiction, when there is comfort to be given.
We’ve reached this point. My wife and I had realized it last week, but were reluctant to act too much on this knowledge without confirmation from our nurse. No, she didn’t tell us to exceed any prescriptions, but was willing to answer our questions about what medicines were suitable for what problems.
Each culture is the sum of rules with which the individual could come to terms with pain, sickness, and death—could interpret them and practise compassion amongst others faced by the same threats. Each culture set the myth, the rituals, the taboos, and the ethical standards needed to deal with the fragility of life—to explain the reason for pain, the dignity of the sick, and the role of dying or death.
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