Hospital stopped nan from dying at home

A FAMILY has lost its fight against a Queensland hospital to allow their 90-year-old mother to die at home.

Marie Dupois died in the Gold Coast University Hospital on Saturday after being admitted in September with a gastro infection.

Marie Dupois.
Marie Dupois.

Her daughter, Therese Zuanetti, said the family had tried five times to move their mother out of the hospital.

Mrs Dupois was a mum of two, grandmother to three and great grandmother of four.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal last month gave the Public Guardian control over the grandmother's health - meaning the hospital had the final say.

Within weeks of her admission, Mrs Dupois was also treated for influenza B, along with other patients in the ward, and sepsis. The hospital said she was simply too sick to move or go home.

The family fought hard to bring her home so they could be with her around the clock, Mrs Zuanetti said.

"Surely that is the right of any loving family? Our mum is a European mother and family is everything," she said.

Mrs Zuanetti said she was devastated staff at the hospital made the decision not to resuscitate her after keeping her "prisoner" for months.

"Mum had full priority care with Medibank Private and was able to be at any private hospital but they were never going to let her leave," she said.

Marie Dupois and Therese Zuanetti at the Gold Coast University Hospital
Marie Dupois and Therese Zuanetti at the Gold Coast University Hospital

A senior doctor organised a meeting with the family and senior medical staff last week and explained resuscitation would be futile, harmful and inconsistent with good medical practice. But she said the family felt cheated they were never told the Public Guardian had ruled out resuscitation.

While she was still alive Mrs Dupois' family doctor Dr Sam Aung wrote to the hospital and said as soon as she was medically fit to leave, her son would look after her at his home.

Mrs Zuanetti said her mother's last days were marred by the hospital barring the family from weekend visits.

The hospital said it restricted visits to 2pm to 3pm Monday to Friday after Mrs Zuanetti called police because she refused to leave.

Staff said members of the patient's family had been disruptive in the ward.

After Mrs Dupois died, the hospital said: "This patient died peacefully this morning. Gold Coast Health provided the highest level of medical and compassionate care.

"We can't divulge anything that may breach patient confidentiality."

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