I'm trying to figure out what I should be doing in a difficult family situation.
My grandmother, who raised me until I was 14 years old, was hospitalized when I was 14 and then eventually moved to a nursing home. She regained most of her memory and some of her physical and mental abilities briefly, then both started a long gradual slide downhill. It is 13 years later, and she has just suffered another stroke and been put on hospice. She can move her legs and jaw a little, but not her arms, most of her face, or even her eyes (to look around), as far as I can tell.
The problem is that her hospice care does not seem to include giving an IV for a patient who cannot eat or drink.
As I understand the Catholic position, an IV is required unless it would do more harm than good. I don't know when an IV would cause more harm than good, and I don't know how to get an unbiased medical opinion about my grandmother's condition. I also don't know exactly what a Catholic definition of harm would be. If an IV prolongs her life but causes her pain, is that harm?
We know that at least one nurse, the head nurse, thinks that the efforts of one particular aunt of mine to keep my grandmother healthy are selfish (this is not gossip; she said as much to my aunt's face). These efforts primarily involved taking an hour three times a week to help my grandmother drink 12 oz. of a warm beverage, so she would be well-hydrated (each hour involved 4 hours of commuting, as the relative lives 2 hours from my grandmother). So there is clearly at least one person in a position of power on the staff with a euthanasia mindset.
My grandmother has 6 surviving children, and many grandchildren. I would be surprised if some of her children don't strongly argue **against **her receiving an IV. One of her children will probably back me up if I make a fuss **for **an IV, but probably won't do so without me. My sister who was also raised by her is likely to back me.
I am really scared to advocate for my grandmother's care, especially since I don't know exactly what her condition is and don't have any contact with the state-appointed guardian to figure out what my options are. Has anyone been through this? I don't even know what to ask. What to do, I guess? She has gone two days without food or water already.