Tube Feeding Prolonging Life

2291 WordsMar 8, 201610 Pages
Abstract This paper is written to discuss the ethical dilemma we come across when asking our self whether or not we should place a tube feeding in a patient with a history Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Will this prolong the patients’ life or just the inevitable death? Most often a decision needs to be made regarding the placement of a tube feeding. The question is not initiated by the patient themselves. This is the reason why educating our patients are so important. In this paper I will discuss how important the role of the healthcare professional plays in advocating for a patient. To help answer this ethical dilemma several issues will be explored. I will focus on the seven principles of ethics, education, utilitarianism, top-down…show more content…
Doctors often encourage the idea of a PEG or other available routes of feeding tubes. This is suggested when the patient has failed there swallow evaluation or has a history of aspiration pneumonia. According to Vital et.al. (2006) these reasons are not evidence based and may reveal discrepancies among healthcare professionals and their knowledge of advanced Dementia disease. Vital et. Al. (2006) also suggests that physicians may need improved education with regards to end stage dementia because they apparently lack understanding about the risks and benefits of artificial feeding. Taking this all into debate, development of knowledge is crucial aspect in maintaining and providing good care in an end of life process. Principles of Ethics If a patient has comorbidity such as Alzheimer’s disease, it is important that a healthcare proxy is designated. A healthcare proxy should be appointed when the patient is still has decision making capabilities. This is performed to help make medical decisions for the patient when they are unable to do so themselves. Autonomy refers to an individual’s right to self- rule or governs one’s self (Beauchamp Childress, 2009). Autonomy is refer to the individual right to make his or her own decision regarding their health care needs. This is respected in the health care setting. Without a living will or healthcare proxy
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