I am a registered nurse working on a dementia unit. Fairly often, I take care of the dying on Hospice. The standard protocol to keep someone comfortable is giving them morphine. Morphine, while a painkiller, helps relax an individual who is suffering and make them comfortable while they are dying. It also suppresses the respiratory system.
Quite often, I have given morphine to someone who’s death is imminent. Several minutes after the morphine has taken effect, the person relaxes, stops breathing and passes away.
So here’s my dilemma. I know the reason for the morphine is to ease their suffering and take away their pain, but am I also killing them? I know that they’re dying already, and no one should have to suffer in their death, I just feel like in a way I’m commiting euthanasia, which I know is against the Church’s teaching. Am I just overthinking this?