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Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 217–218 | Cite as

Response

  • Frank BrennanEmail author
Article
  • 64 Downloads

Modern medicine is vested with a great capacity to intervene at all stages of an illness. Equally, it is vested with a responsibility to think carefully, communicate clearly, and recommend wisely. If the purely physical aspect of decision-making is divorced from the broadly human, we may lose our way. Indeed, we may lead our patients and their families into a dark territory where neither thought nor wisdom applies.

Miss K has endured an illness profound in its consequences. She has a significant intellectual disability and is entirely dependent on others for her care. The scenario describes a recent loss of interest in food. A nasogastric (NG) tube was inserted but Miss K was intolerant to its presence. A PEG tube insertion was planned. Miss K presented for the reinsertion of an NG tube. A discussion ensued.

In that discussion the doctor raises a point that is at once both revelatory and profound—choice. It is revelatory because the patient’s mother has never been told that a choice is...

Keywords

Palliative Care Intellectual Disability Tube Insertion Parenteral Feeding Hard Decision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Calvary HospitalKogarahAustralia

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