Consultation with a knowledgeable Rav is necessary before a decision is made to admit the patient to hospice care. Once the decision is made that admitting the patient to hospice care is appropriate, you need to be mindful that while hospice care can offer certain benefits, it can also present its own set of Halachic challenges.
- Pain medications – Pain medication will likely be offered/prescribed to relieve a patient’s pain symptoms. Relieving pain is very important. It is important to note, however, that certain pain medications could cause respiratory suppression and expedite death, which is against halacha. The Rabbonim of Chayim Aruchim can assist you in your discussions with the physician about pain medications and making sure the patient receives appropriate care.
- Nutrition, Hydration and Medication – According to Halacha, nutrition and hydration (food and drink) must be provided to a patient in almost all cases. When having a discussion about hydration and nutrition, make sure to ask a knowledgeable Rov before making any decisions. In reference to medication, any symptoms that might indicate infection or other illnesses should be treated . The Rabbonim of Chayim Aruchim can be particularly helpful in discussing the pertinent medical issues with your physician and medical staff, and can then guide you to make the most appropriate decisions according to Halacha.
- DNR and DNI orders – When offered Do No Resuscitate (DNR) or Do Not Intubate (DNI) advanced care directives at ANY medical facility, do NOT sign them UNLESS you first discuss the situation with a knowledgeable Rabbi. Only a Halachic Medical Directive should be signed.
- Chayim Aruchim – DO call Chayim Aruchim, ANY time you need us! We are here for you. There is simply too much at stake to “go it alone”! Chayim Aruchim has trained Rabbis in the field of Medical Halacha to discuss with, and advise, you and your physician.
Chayim Aruchim Hotline- 718-Aruchim (718) 278-2446
Hayim Aruchim Hotline (347) 578-8200
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