Garda cried as wife told him he was going to die
Published 04/06/2011 | 05:00
THE wife of a retired garda has said he cried when she told him his life-support equipment was going to be switched off.
Patrick Quinn (66), a father of five, had suffered complications following an operation to treat pancreatic cancer.
Despite his family's objections, hospital staff turned off the machine keeping him alive.
Mr Quinn, of Sandymount, Dublin 4, died at St Vincent's University Hospital on May 7 last year, an inquest at Dublin City Coroner's Court heard yesterday.
He had been in hospital following an invasive procedure to treat a cancerous tumour in the pancreas, but his health had deteriorated rapidly. Staff at the hospital told Rosaline Quinn that her husband's treatment was going to be discontinued.
"I had to tell him they were going to discontinue his treatment, that he was going to die," Mrs Quinn said yesterday.
"He started to cry. My husband was fully compos mentis, he knew what was being said to him," she added.
Mrs Quinn, a qualified nurse, objected to the withdrawal of care, but was told by doctors she had no say in the matter, the inquest heard. She asked medical staff to wait until her family got to the hospital before discontinuing treatment.
The father of five was admitted to St Vincent's Hospital on February 24 for what is known as a Whipple's procedure to remove a 2.5cm tumour.
"All we were informed was that it was a serious operation," Mrs Quinn said. "We were never informed of the mortality rate or that a risk of bleeding was higher as Patrick was jaundiced at the time of his operation."
Mr Quinn struggled to recover afterwards. He suffered projectile vomiting, abdominal pains and internal bleeding.
Consultant surgeon Justin Geoghegan, who carried out the Whipple's procedure, said while families were consulted on whether or not to continue treatment, it was ultimately a clinical decision.
Recording a narrative verdict, Dublin City Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said Mr Quinn developed post-operative issues following the Whipple's Procedure and died of multi-organ failure and possible sepsis.