, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 102–109 | Cite as

Ethical dilemmas in providing nutrition

  • Michael E. Groher


The decisions involved in the institution of artificial feeding in patients with chronic and/or terminal illness are difficult. They are more complex when one is deciding if nutrition and hydration are to be withdrawn. In both instances the decision must be based on a combination of factors: the patient's right to self-determination; documented medical evidence demonstrating the need for artificial feeding, combined with a risk/benefit analysis if alternative alimentation is recommended; and an appreciation of prior legal decisions as they relate to the implementation of alternative forms of nutrients to sustain life.

Key words

Artificial feeding, ethical issues Terminal disease Nasogastric tubes Deglutition Deglutition disorders 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael E. Groher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department 126V.A. Medical CenterTampaUSA

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