Giving morphine to patients is legal in Nebraska. Giving medical marijuana is not. That does not make sense to me. Especially when my mother was in the hospital suffering from nausea and pain on a regular basis. I looked up information on morphine and found out that it can be habit forming. It can also become deadly if there is an overdose. When I looked up information on medical marijuana, I found out that it generally is not an addictive substance and it is highly unlikely to be the only cause of death.
Some of the side affects of morphine include nausea and loss of appetite. My mother suffered from them while in the hospital as well as pain. Could it have been the morphine? Medical marijuana could have relieved her pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. While she still would have died, she could have been more comfortable while in the hospital. However, since medical marijuana is illegal in Nebraska, the hospital and her doctors did not even have that option.
Some of my mother’s other symptoms from her last few weeks included confusion, being light-headed and headaches. These are also side-effects of morphine.
Although the symptoms could have been due to the growth in her brain, they may also have been due to the morphine. Because of her confusion, she did not have the ability to contact the nurses for help at the end of her life. Because of being light-headed, she could not get up and walk around or get into a wheel chair. She was stuck in her bed looking at the four walls at the end of her life.
Could the quality of my mother’s life, while in the hospital, been higher if she could have used medical marijuana? There is no way to know.
It does not seem to make sense that my mother could take an addictive substance like morphine but not a non-addictive substance like medical marijuana. If she had taken the medical marijuana, this eighty-three year old woman could have been arrested. Why is this the case in Nebraska? Other states, like California, allow medical marijuana. There people with cancer and other health issues are able to find relief.
Since my mother had medicare, she was able to get quality care from the hospital. However, the care could have been better if she had more choices about the drugs she could take in Nebraska. Medical marijuana, while used by many people in other parts of the world, was not an option for her because she lives in Nebraska.
During these days of health care reform in the United States, I can’t help thinking that I would rather have had my mother use medical marijuana. Instead, she used morphine. Perhaps more health care reform is needed to correct that.