Regulating the Foregoing of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration: First, Do Some Harm
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 50, Pp. 586-588, 2002
Posted: 11 Jun 2002
This editorial argues that many state statutes involving the foregoing of artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH), although generally well-intended, frequently exert the practical effect of clouding and confusing the legally permissible boundaries of end-of-life care and thus harming rather than helping the patient and those who must live through and carry on after the dying process. The author speculates about why the current state statutory landscape often adversely affects clinical practice and patients' rights regarding the use and limitation of ANH. Recommendations are offered for the correction or at least amelioration of prevalent present deficiencies in the inception, drafting, and interpretation and explanation of state ANH statutes.
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