Ironies and Tensions in Feeding the Dying
Capron, Alexander M.
Hastings Center Report. 1984 Oct; 14(5): 32-35.
Capron discusses artificial feeding of dying or chronically ill patients in the context of autonomy, paternalism, and community. New medical technologies that prolong life can result in overtreatment of patients and create tensions among patients, family members, physicians, and administrators that draw courts into the decision making process. Capron outlines the legal responses to questions of life-sustaining treatment for incapacitated patients in the cases of Clarence Herbert, Claire Conroy, and Mary Hier. He concludes that, while judges are correct in regarding artificial feeding as a medical treatment, they must also consider the symbolic role feeding plays in caring. (KIE abstract)
Administrators; Aged; Allowing to Die; Artificial Feeding; Autonomy; Beneficence; Biomedical Technologies; Caring; Chronically Ill; Competence; Decision Making; Dementia; Family Members; Goals; Legal Aspects; Life; Paternalism; Patients; Persistent Vegetative State; Physicians; Privacy; Terminally Ill; Values; Withholding Treatment;