Hospice Patients Alliance: Patient Advocates

I Witnessed Involuntary Euthanasia in Hospice

by Heidi Wise

April, 2017

My 84 year-old father died a month ago at a rehab facility on the East coast. He was a veteran, a family man, and an active member of his community. I believe he was a victim of involuntary "stealth euthanasia" and that he died because of a rogue nurse with her own misguided philosophies about death.

My father had developed a nosebleed, went into the hospital for evaluation, and was then transferred to the rehab facility. There, he slipped on a sock that was half off and broke his greater trochanter, which is a fracture that can heal by itself without surgery.

Although he had been diagnosed a while back with chronic myeloid leukemia, the medical records from my dad's primary care physician confirm that my dad was stable! He had last been seen in December, 2016 for a cold! There was no major medical event that would account for his dying other than the morphine overdose he was given! Another thing that is clear is that the rehab center or the Nurse Practitioner who killed him never called once to consult with my father's primary care doctor who would have told them that he was not terminal at all!

I was led by the nurse practitioner and other staff there to believe that my father was having difficulty breathing when he did not, and was dying when he was not! She said his white cell count was "rising rapidly" which was not true at all. It is very upsetting to know that I was lied to about his health status.

The nurse practitioner pressured me very aggressively to approve hospice for my Dad and I was asked to approve morphine and Ativan for him when he was not in pain. These drugs — I now know from consultations with friends who are medical doctors — stop a patient's breathing. But I was not informed about this at the time and agreed with having hospice there and having the drugs given! In addition, he was denied medication that helped him with his chronic but stable condition. I even videotaped him saying that he wanted to live.

At one point I was told, by his nurse practitioner, that hospice was cancelled and that they were just going to "do it" with medication. It was truly horrifying. I felt that I was in the twilight zone or an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I regret deeply that I did not go straight to the authorities!

On the evening of my father's death, my mother was called and told to come to the rehab center because my dad would pass "in about five hours." How could the staff know that he would die in five hours when death does not arrive on time like someone arriving for an appointment! I believe that the staff knowing exactly when my father was going to die is very suspicious and had much to do with the drugs they were giving him. He did not have the traditional and well-recognized signs of the active phase of dying.

Before he passed, I had contacted the administrator of this rehab center asking why my dad's wishes were not being respected. He wanted to be home and under the care of his regular physician. He wanted to live and his wishes were ignored, even when I supported and spoke up for his needs. He also told his best friend of the past 30 years that he wanted to live.

I wrote again the morning of my dad's death. The administrator responded by saying that she had no legal authority to answer me. So I know she received my email. I indicated that I believed a crime had been committed and reminded her that euthanasia was not legal in any state — never mind involuntary euthanasia. Two days later this administrator released his body for cremation.

The day after my dad died, I received a call from an agent of the Veteran's Administration who had seen my dad about five days before he died regarding his veteran's related disability claim. He was shocked to hear that my dad had passed away and also that my dad had been declared incompetent the day after he had been in to visit him. He said that my dad was perfectly lucid, answered all of his questions, and that he had spent several hours with my dad.

The nurse practitioner had told me she had a conversation with my dad the same day this agent from the VA interviewed him. She said my father told her he did not want to take the medication the primary care physician had prescribed and that he was perfectly lucid. She only wanted him to be taking the morphine and ativan. The very next day she had my father declared incompetent and invoked the health care proxy.

My sister who is also a nurse practitioner was shocked. She said, "Now Dad loses all his rights." It is my understanding that having someone declared incompetent requires more than one step and can be complicated, and it is not just a matter of having someone sign a form, but that is what was done!

My father did not go from perfectly lucid to incompetent overnight! In fact, he was still perfectly lucid! The whole thing is an outrage!

I also called the hospice the day before my dad's death, and asked to be included in the support and bereavement services. I mentioned I did not agree with what was going on, and the case manager hung up on me! This treatment totally contradicted the "warm and fuzzy" impression about hospice that I had been led to believe in.

I felt that this was a terribly cruel way to treat me when my father was dying. My experience showed me that they are greedy. I have now learned that they considered me to be trouble when I said I did not agree with what was going on. That's when they hung up on me!

I have since filed a complaint with the Board of Nursing in the state and will be filing one against this hospice, too. When I called the regulatory department and told them how the hospice had treated me, the woman I was speaking with was gasping with shock. She said I should definitely file a complaint.

My research has led me to understand that this is a widespread problem and a deeply troubling trend. The reasons for "stealth euthanasia" vary—from the intervention of a rogue nurse, as in the case of my father, to economic concerns and how health care resources are spent. As you might be aware, an indictment recently came down on sixteen people running a hospice in Texas who also were overdosing patients. In some cases the overdoses led to death.1

In just one month, three of my friends told me that they have also had similar horrifying experiences. I have even had people I don't know reach out to me on Facebook with similar stories. Just like me, they are traumatized and extremely distressed.

I feel it is vital to make the public aware of involuntary "stealth euthanasia." Whether someone has two weeks, six months, or two years to live, no one has the right to take that time from them and their family members by imposing death! The rehab facility and hospice staff not only did what ended in killing my father, they have left me deeply troubled by the whole horrendous ordeal. Losing a loved one is hard enough, but under these conditions it is unbearable!

[End of report from Heidi Wise]


  1.    Valerie Wigglesworth and Holly K Hacker, "Frisco couple, 14 others indicted in Medicare hospice scheme that preyed on 'most vulnerable',"
            February 28, 2017, DallasNews.com. Back

Note from Ron Panzer, President, Hospice Patients Alliance:

How many people have to testify about the medical killings in healthcare settings such as occur in many hospices (but not all) before the world wakes up to this evil? Heidi Wise reports that her father was not terminal and his care was manipulated to make sure he died when that was not expected by his own doctor at all!

In this case, Heidi reports: the patient had no need for strong opioid medications (morphine) or a sedative like Ativan! We should note that when staff misinform family members, they can get those with the Medical Power of Attorney to agree to treatments or medications that can then be used to railroad a patient into death — even when the family members have no idea what is really being done.

I know that there are pro-lifers out there who object to any criticism at all of their friends Wesley Smith, JD, or Ira Byock, MD, however, if we do not question each other when we are terribly mistaken, who will do so and help us find our way again?

So, in that spirit, let's take note that contrary to Wesley Smith, JD and Ira Byock, MD's decades-long continuing false assertions that imposed deaths are not occurring in hospice settings, Heidi Wise and thousands of others across the nation say that this is exactly what is happening!

When will these two, Byock and Smith who call themselves "pro-life," — and who have taken pro-life positions against assisted-suicide, for example — not only admit the truth, but stop actively choosing to lie about what is going on by denying that deaths are being imposed in hospice settings as well as hospitals, nursing homes, and elsewhere?

No matter how much good some consider them to have done, by denying the truth when they know thousands of people trust their assessment of what is going on, they are "opening the door" to the imposed death "chambers" of an increasingly hostile-to-life healthcare setting. In those settings, a healthcare professional or family member can literally impose death and suffer no consequences at all!

The family members and the patients, especially, deserve better. God demands much more of us and most especially of those who say they are individuals of faith! We are grateful that Heidi Wise has stepped forward to share with us what happened to her father! Her report will help others recognize the tricks sometimes used by those who act with a dark agenda.

For more information on the true mission of hospice and the perverse practices that exists in too many hospices today, see the 4-part Wesley Smith, JD and Ira Byock, MD expose´.

We support the original pro-life mission of hospice where we actively provide the care that will help them, relieve the patients' suffering to the best of our ability, but never do anything to intentionally hasten or impose death!

Permission is granted to share these articles with others, to print them, or post them on other websites so long as credit is given to the author and Hospice Patients Alliance with a link to this original page.

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