Morphine; how much is too much?

Many people, including health care workers, believe that morphine is a lethal drug that causes death when used to control pain for a patient who is dying. That is a misconception according to new research published in the latest issue of Palliative Medicine; from SAGE Publications. Doctors should feel free to manage pain with doses adjusted to individual patients so that the patients can be comfortable and be able to live with dignity until the end. How much is too much? This is the big question that we as nurses often consider. From experience I have seen morphine given in small and large quantities to the dying pt, I have often wondered like many health care professionals are we assisting death by administering morphine in large doses? Will we ever know the answer, I want my pt. to be comfortable and free of pain, in the end when death is not preventable who is the most important? The pt.and his family of course, what we think doesn’t really matter.

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