Essay On Artificial Hydration In End Of Life

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Artificial nutrition and hydration should not be used for end of life patients because intravenous hydration can have a negative impact on the quality of their life. According to RJ Ackermann, M.D (Medical Doctor), “There is always a risk when someone is fed through a tube. Liquid might enter the lungs. This can cause coughing and pneumonia… They can become plugged up, causing pain, nausea and vomiting” (Artificial Hydration and Nutrition par. 19). This quote shows that it is risky to use a feeding tube because liquid can enter the lungs and cause coughing and pneumonia. Pneumonia is an inflammation of one or both lungs, and it may fill with fluid. Feeding tubes are one of the many methods of artificial nutrition and hydration (N&H). When a …show more content…
An IV tubing is inserted through a blood vessel, commonly a vein, and it is often painful. When this is inserted, there is a possibility of fluid overload, and that will cause swelling of the legs, arms and body (Artificial Nutrition and Hydration at the End of Life : Beneficial or Harmful? par. 39). In other words, besides the painful insertion of the IV tube, there are awful symptoms that may occur if something were to go wrong. An IV tube is a plastic tube that is inserted in the vein, for fluids to be given directly into the blood. Intravenous fluids is a treatment used for cases where the patient is severely dehydrated. If a fluid overload occurred during this treatment, the symptoms are swelling of the legs, arms and body. At the end of their life, it will cause the patients to be in more pain, especially with an IV tube inserted in their vein. With this method of artificial nutrition and hydration, bitter symptoms can occur and have a negative impact on a patient’s quality of life. All in all, with the awful symptoms that occurs or can occur with intravenous hydration, it will negatively impact the dying patient’s quality of …show more content…
Julie O’Sullivan Maillet, PhD, observes “The patient’s ethical and legal right to self-determination as guaranteed by the informed consent doctrine is not absolute. The state, or other institutions, may exert powers to limit the right of personal liberty on the basis of several concepts : preservation of life, prevention of suicide … and protection of the ethical integrity of the health professional” (Position of the American Dietetic Association par. 23). This suggests that the patient’s right to decide for themselves on health issues is not absolute, meaning not totally guaranteed. The reason for this is because the state or institutions are limiting the rights of patients. They are doing this based off of “preserving life”, “prevention of suicide”, and protecting the health professionals principles. Patients have the right to refuse artificial nutrition and hydration, even if they die from doing so. It should be based on their preference no matter what, and not the healthcare professionals. Although both preferences are respected, it is more significant to respect the patient’s preference. Liz Friedrich also argues that it is significant for healthcare professionals to respect decisions made by end-of-life patients, or what their family or surrogate makes. They must respect it even if it comes in conflict with the IDT’s

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