Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocates

Involuntary Euthanasia Case Ten

March 31, 2011

Wendy Ludwig, RN Reports: Elderly Non-terminal Catholic Priest Euthanized

Hello, I spoke with you some years ago about the many killings taking place within hospice. You may remember me; I am an RN, BSN and I had called you about writing a newspaper article concerning the situation with hospice, and I had asked permission to refer to your articles. Not long after I had spoken with you, my father died of leukemia, and the following year my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in 2009. With all of this going on, I did not write the article about hospice, but planned to do so in the future.

I am writing you again, asking for your help in trying to somehow stop the horrible hospice killings and euthanasia that occurs even in hospitals. I know so many people who were not even terminally ill, who did not have cancer but were just aging, that hospice quickly killed. I am so upset, horrified and angry about all of this. In my area the hospice went on what I call an "advertising campaign", writing articles in the local newspaper, handing out flyers to doctor's offices and trying to drum up support from local clergy by going around to each church asking to set up a meeting with them so that they can "explain the benefits of hospice".

It is truly terrible where I live. It is not uncommon to see a patient eating in a restaurant with their family one week, and the following week be dead after hospice has come in. When my mother was ill, she made absolutely clear that she did not want hospice anywhere near her, but yet the hospital forced drugs on her, did many tactics to hasten her death, and ended up doing as they pleased, coming up with some strange medical power-of-attorney that no one had seen before. It was truly awful. For the rest of my life it will affect me,and there is never a day that I do not think about it. I did everything I possibly could, but they still found ways to not treat infections, to deny her enough fluid, to do so many things and it did not matter what I said or did, or what she said for that matter.

I am currently seeking a new career, because as a prolife Catholic, I can not in good conscience work in hospitals anymore, as even the Catholic hospitals support hospice in one way or another. I can tell you honestly that I am not aware of ANY hospice that is good. Everyone I know that has gone to a hospice in any state that I know of, has been murdered by hospice.

It has seemed so overwhelming to me. What is so unbelievable is the way that hospice can convince people they are doing "good" and "mercy" for their loved ones. It appears to me that they use a type of forceful brainwashing, where they take the family at their most vulnerable time, convince them that the only way that the patient won't suffer is by using hospice, then lying to them about what is actually happening. Even when people feel like something isn't right, they do nothing, somehow believing what hospice has told them. With such an "ad campaign" in the newspapers and elsewhere, I don't know how to begin to make people understand what hospice is doing. It is notable also, that once a family member had died in hospice care, people do not want to hear the truth; it seems they defend hospice profoundly, probably because they don't want to think that they have just let their loved one be murdered.

I am asking please, for your help in making people aware of the horrors of hospice, and warning them about what is happening. I decided not to write the newspaper article at this time, because I know that hospice will counter-attack anything I say with a barrage of their own articles. I have been thinking about flyers or something, or a massive mail campaign, but I am not sure what to do. Please can you help me?

I witnessed a doctor euthanizing a Catholic priest who stated in no uncertain terms that he did not want hospice. The priest did not have cancer or any other terminal illness. He was 94 years old, still saying Mass and was very active. The doctor decides when the priest needed knee surgery for an injury to his knee that it was time to call in hospice. The priest adamantly and angrily refused. So the doctor took his medicine away and started to give him "pain pills" though the priest said he was not in pain.

The priest was in a nursing home following his knee injury, and was getting physical therapy. He had been also prescribed large doses of coumadin by the doctor. I went to visit him one day, and found him bruising all over, so I demanded that the nursing home call an ambulance. When they refused to call an ambulance and said the "doctor was aware", I told them that he was bruised all over his body and he needed to go to the hospital. I told them that if an ambulance was not called I was going to call the police. He was taken to the hospital, and was told he had been given too much coumadin, and that he would need to stay in the hospital for a few days.

While in the hospital the doctor refused food and fluids. I called the elder abuse hotline and when the doctor found out they were coming, he began IV feedings, but also began drugging the priest with morphine. The priest told me what they were doing. I waited for the doctor with a friend and I told him that I was aware of what was going on, and that elder abuse would again be called. He pounded on the patients chest and said "does he seem awake enough to you?!" He called the family who lived in another state, and the family came. I received a call one day asking for me to come and visit Father because he was asking to see me. I went to see him and he was resting comfortably.

He was in an ICU and I was watching the monitors. His heart rate and breathing were regular and stable. Not long after I arrived, I was taken to a waiting room, and the family was there. A short time later the nurse came and got the family but told me to stay in the waiting room. I had a terrible feeling; I went to the nurses station and the curtain was pulled in Father's room, and I heard a priest saying prayers over him, the family in the room as well. I was told I could not go in. I told them I had forgotten my purse in the room, but I was not allowed to go in and get it.

I stood outside and heard the the nurse telling the family that they were giving him another dose of medicine and taking off his oxygen. I was told to go back to the waiting room. I knew what was happening: the doctor had viciously called me to sit in the waiting room while he euthanized the priest. I left the hospital, and before I got home, I received a call that the priest had passed away.

About a month later, the local newspaper printed an article stating some "honor" this doctor was given by the hospital. It seemed quite planned in it's timing. Right after the priest died, an anonymous letter was sent to the doctor, informing him that people were aware of what he was doing to patients. A Catholic nun had also witnessed this same doctor giving a fentanyl patch in a terminal dose to another nun, who died within hours of receiving the patch. A few weeks after that letter was sent, the article appeared in the paper, "honoring" this doctor. The woman who was with me when the doctor pounded on the priest's chest thought that, because this doctor was on the board of this hospital, that the "honor" was probably given to distract people who may have heard of his tactics from believing what was said about him. That doctor still practices at the hospital.

I have many other horror stories.

I appreciate you reading my long email, and I am so thankful for your grass-roots effort to stop hospice killings. Please let me know how I can help protect patients from being murdered by hospice.

I hope to hear from you soon.



- Wendy Ludwig, RN

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