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A family member is suffering from a blood disorder and Parkinson's for quite some time. He also suffers from osteoporosis (sp?) and is in severe pain. Family members decided since he was bed ridden and no longer knows what is going on around him that it was time to stop the blood transfusions. Unfortunately he also has to be put in a nursing home.
My question...when I was speaking to his care taker the other day he said they had started him on morphine (5?).
I cannot figure out by researching if this is a low dose or high. He had been on Fentynal for a long time before this.
I've read many articles commenting how nursing homes basically use morphine to speed up the death process. As bad as this sounds it is fine with our family because he is only suffering but can anyone give me some feed back on this process and at what point or dosage becomes harmful to the body? If anyone has any thoughts or experiences with this will you please blog back with them?
This family member is very dear to me and I want to make sure all is being done in his best interest.


Hi hon! You are getting confused with lethal morphine dosages that will end someones life at the very end of their life! This is commonly done for people in absolute agony and NOTHING can help them! Without this, this person would die in agony beyond our comprehension.

Due to the fact that your friend has already gone through Fentanyl Patches his doctors are basically left with 1 option and that is morphine! It doesn't speed up the end of life, it is only 1 of the remaining painkillers for end of life patients!

A living will or end of life conversations has always and will always be a sensitive subject! I know that you care for your family member, and don't want him to leave this world too early! BUT I am from the other point of view, my mom was riddled with cancer, and was in TERRIBLE uncontrollable pain! Thank God she passed away quickly on her final day - with no help from the medical community! BUT to watch her - this one strong independent woman - begging to die, is and was more than ANYONE should have to endure!

When your family member is ready to leave this earth he will honey! There is NOTHING that can be done for him except for trying to help him stay as comfortable as possible throughout his remaining days!

Like I stated, this is a VERY emotional subject, thus the reason why there is such a low percentage of organ donors compared to people that wanted to be organ donors! It's just too emotional for families to decide! So Just know that what you are feeling and querying is normal process of greiving for this gentleman before he passes away! Your family is doing what's best for him, they can't demand a nursing home or any doctor to end his life!! So have faith in them too! Also if he does have a living will or has talked to his doctor regarding end of life treatment. This could be already decided!

I wish you peace of mind!


Hi Kari,

When you say morphine (5?) do you mean 5mg? How often is it administered.

From what you said so far it does not sound excessive. We often administer 2-5mg (start at 2, go to 5 if needed) in the ambulance, and sometimes more.

He will build up a tolerance after a while and the dosage may be increased. This is also normal.

I applaud you for your looking out for your family member. He is a very lucky person to have you looking out for his interests. Please keep checking in with the caregivers as to what you can do to make him comfortable.

Please let us know if you have any more questions/concerns.


Thank you both for your replies.
The problem my uncle lives in Arizona and I live in Indiana so it's hard to understand everything his caregiver tells us.
Yes Bambi I agree it is a terrible thing to watch a loved one suffer. I have been to Arizona two times in the past year and it's just awful how a strong independent man can become so dependant and riddled with pain. His memory is going also so it is so hard when often times he does not know who we are.
Medic-Dan I honestly don't know how often the dosage is being administered at this point but thanks for your info I could not find anything in my research about morphine in 5mg doses.
Thank you both again for your help and support.


You're welcome honey and God Bless to both of you!!