Essay on Tube Feeding Prolonging Life

2307 Words Mar 20th, 2016 10 Pages
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
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Some side effects are uncontrolled diarrhea and aspiration. One of the greatest complications I have come across is when a confused patient who continuously attempts to remove the PEG tube out. We can prevent this from happening by placing an abdominal binder, hand mitts or providing a safety 1:1. With the additional restraints this may causes increase discomfort, and confusion to the patient, and will cause further problems. The decision by the family could have been different if they were provided with better educated regarding the complication of PEG tube placement.
I think that the health care providers thought process is if they provided artificial nutrition to their love ones it will help increase the life expectance. Smith (2011) believes that in the early stages of dementia it is typical to have some issues with swallowing but as Dementia progresses eating disorders are prevalent. As Riet, Higgins, Good and Sneesby(2009) states “the decision to withdraw life support, such as mechanical ventilation or with draw medication appears to be more palatable than the idea of withdrawing nutrition and hydration at the end of life”(p 2105).

Education According to Sorrell (2010), there is increasing evidence that placing feeding tubes in patient with end stage dementia or Alzheimer’s does not increase the patient’s survival rate nor will it improve clinical outcomes. Starting a patient on an enteral feeding tube may not benefit the

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