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Throwing the Visitors Out
Salomon Says

Throwing the Visitors Out

Who decides if a patient should have visitors?

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Published: May 30, 2009


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Visitor Comments: 16

(16) susan, June 9, 2009 5:23 AM

A Hospice Nurse's POint of View

WOW. your video could be a commercial for Hospice care. So many patient die without their loved ones because caregivers are "doing everything possible to save a life". Sometimes saving a life is NOT possible and while I don't advocate any form of shortening days or moments on this earth, I do advocate death with dignity surrounded by love ones and pain and symptoms controlled. That is hospice's goal. As a nurse for more than 30 years, I have seen this issue from both sides. I can't recall the number of times I have asked parents and family members to leave the room while we did a "procedure". Then my son had an accident and was in a trauma unit. B"H he ended up being well but when I felt the possibility I would be denied access, my fear and in turn his fear greatly affected both of our ability to deal with this situation. Each situation must be dealt with individually and health care providers must consider what is in the best interest of the patient NOT what is easier for the caregiver. If it is necessary, a social worker or chaplain can be provided to accompany the loved one to the patient's bedside to explain what is happening. As a hospice nurse, I have seen too many patients die without loved ones present and many with multiple family members at their side, in every case, those that died knowing they were loved left this world peaceful and their loved ones were better able to manage their grief. Dying alone in a hospital being "treated" is not always the way. THANK YOU FOR ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE.

(15) AvrahamL, June 8, 2009 8:27 AM

different perspective

Although I certainly agree with you that it is important to have loved ones at the side of a death bed, the obligation to save a life should trump this emotional support (and mitzvah). I am not familiar with the cases you mentioned, but it seems to me that if the doctors ability to attempt to save a life is hindered by their being guests around it is clear that they should be kicked out. If the lives of these individuals had in fact been saved the doctors would be receiving praise not criticism.

(14) natan, June 4, 2009 1:29 PM

real bikur cholim

A correction, Bikur Cholim is not to "visit",it is to care for the needs of the sick.To come and look for the different things that need to be done (like 'livaker biheichalo').It is true that family members many times notice and take care of little things but lets remember that the ones on call 24/7 for Bikur Cholim are the medical staff,and that is a tremendous merit.

(13) ruth housman, June 4, 2009 9:07 AM

Shalom, haver

This is an important commentary because obviously, there is an powerful need on the part of those who are ill, to be with those they love and to know they are beloved, at such a vulnerable time. Likewise it's a needed solace for the visitor for many, many obvious reasons. It is a very important balancing act, namely to keep the patient healthy and not overwhelm with "too many" visitors at once, or too constant a stream, but also that understanding of the power of the empathic connect as healing and a deep need we all experience in times of being "down". It's a juggling act and those who are sharing beds in rooms with flimsy curtains, also must understand the needs of the other patient, perhaps for quiet, and also what can happen when that other patient does not have visitors for various reasons, meaning the sadness this entails for one person vs another. It's about sensitivity and the lessons are infinite and ongoing. There are many things to take into account here, and the object of ethical questions is to enlarge the scope or picture by bearing sensitivity on such an important issue.

(12) Marsha, June 3, 2009 10:18 PM

A Response from the Consumer to the Nurse Behind the Nurse's Station, Julie

What stranger is able to tell me or decide for me what I can or cannot handle? Case in point: I once had a child in the hospital for 6 weeks. I was there every day from 7:00 in the morning until 7:30 at night when my husband took over. The first two times the IV had to get changed the nurse very dutifully kicked me out despite my requesting I be allowed to stay to comfort my child. Finally, the third time the resident was in the room and realized he needed the nurse when changing the IV. When I told him politely that I could help him (i.e. keep my child calm without getting queasy) he allowed me to stay. Who is better at calming a child than ones own mother? After that I never had a problem again. Another case in point. Once another child of mine needed stitches. Once again the health professionals dutifully kicked me out of the room. At that point I did not bother fighting because they did allow my husband in there even though both of us would have preferred if I was the one allowed in. I cannot tell you how many times I have accompanied a child of mine when getting stitches in a private office and never did I have that problem. I was always allowed to be there to help calm my child. And yes, I was in the room when my mother died and wasn't kicked out. So again I ask who in the medical field is qualified to decide for me what I can and cannot handle?

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