Sunday, June 28, 2015

9 Investigates mysterious hospice death

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MELBOURNE, Fla. — The children of a decorated Marine want justice for their father after they learned he died with four times the lethal limit of morphine in his system, yet there was no autopsy performed or thorough investigation into his death.

John McDonough survived the Korean War, and his children said he remained a fighter at age 85.

“Talking about going to Texas for his grandson's graduation,” said his daughter, Moe Roddy.

But three days after that, Roddy, a cardiac nurse, discovered her dad was under hospice care at his Melbourne home.

Raw: Family questions father's morphine overdose death

“I believe he was incoherent because he was drugged," Roddy said.

Patients under hospice care often receive high levels of morphine to make them comfortable before an imminent death.

But McDonough's three children want to know why their dad was even admitted to home hospice just after being discharged from rehab with "improved health."

“There is no record of him being involved in the decision," said McDonough's son, Tim McDonough.

John McDonough's wife signed the hospice agreement using a power of attorney she had gotten two years earlier, while her husband was ill. He had later recovered.

Three days after his home hospice admission, records show his step granddaughter, a nurse, administered double the amount of morphine prescribed by his doctor in one hour and forty minutes.

When the hospice nurse heard the dosage amounts over the phone, she told the granddaughter not to give him any more.

Eighteen hours later, McDonough was dead.

Months after McDonough's death, a toxicology report showed he had four times the lethal limit of morphine for a nontolerant patient, but the medical examiner did not perform an autopsy.

With no autopsy, there is no way to know if the morphine is what killed McDonough.

Channel 9's Lori Brown asked the Brevard medical examiner if someone dropped the ball.

“That I don’t know,” Dr. Sajid Qaiser said. “I have no idea.”

The medical examiner said he's satisfied with the investigation, but the family is not.

They hired Rhode Island's former chief medical examiner to review their dad's records.

"A full autopsy in this case would definitely have answered questions," Dr. Elizabeth Laposata said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating how the medical examiner handled the case.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Tim McDonough said. “If this one is wrong, how many others are wrong?"

Hospice of St. Francis has not returned Channel 9's calls asking why John McDonough did not sign the hospice admission form.

The sheriff's office interviewed officials with hospice and declared the case cleared without charging anyone.

Channel 9 reached out to John McDonough's wife, but she said she would not answer any questions and hung up.

Full Article & Source:
9 Investigates mysterious hospice death


StandUp said...

I am sorry for this family but I am also glad the family is standing up and demanding answers. Hospice has become a very profitable industry.

Sue Harmon said...

Hospice is a death sentence where countless people have been and are being intentionally drugged leaving the victim barely able to consume food and liquids...then the victim is placed in hospice for the lethal cocktail with intent to end their lives. It's rare for anyone to get any answers let alone justice. We need to keep our eyes on this case. Wishing the family the very best in this long painful process.