A Florida man suffering Alzheimer’s has died of a snake bite after his family chose not to give him anti-venom so he could ‘die with dignity.’
He was rushed to Jupiter Medical Center where doctors asked his family if they should save his life by injecting him with anti-venom. The hospital requires the permission of the patient’s family before administering such drugs.
‘We knew something was not right. He was having all the symptoms… a rapid heart rate, sweating, and vomiting,’ Flora’s daughter, Ellen Wilson, said of her father’s reaction to the bite.
The elderly man was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and hated the condition, which affects a person’s memory, thinking and behavior and gets worse over time, Wilson said.
‘The doctor said we can’t give him the anti-venom unless the family wants us to do that. So we had a huge decision to make,’ Wilson told WPTV.
Flora’s daughters recently signed a ‘do not resuscitate order’ for their father.
‘If we asked him… would you rather die from Alzheimer’s… which he hated… or would you rather die from a snake bite… I guarantee my father would have chosen the snake bite,’ Wilson said.
With the clock ticking, Wilson contacted her sisters for advice.
One of them, Brenda Wetherald, told WPTV that her first instinct was to say ‘no, no, no. Don’t let him die.’
‘But my husband and I prayed about it and thought “why do we want to keep him here? He will now go to heaven,”‘ Wetherald said.
Flora died about 11 hours after the bite, according to the family.
‘We prayed about it and felt like God let this happen so my father could die with dignity,’ Wilson said.
The rattlesnake was shot and brought to the hospital so doctors could confirm the type of snake.
His daughters believe Flora was instinctively trying to kill the snake because a brick was near him when he was found.