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Implanting Feeding Tubes into Dementia Patients

We face some difficult medical decisions when an elderly family member’s health begins to fail. Many families will rely on the recommendations of physicians when it comes to medical interventions for an elderly patient who is nearing death. But a recent blog entry published on The New Old Age blog on the NY Times is shedding new light on the issue of feeding tubes used on dementia patients. According to the article, a study that involved interviews with 486 people across the US found that “of patients who received feeding tubes, 13.7 percent of family members reported that doctors had inserted the tubes without seeking permission at all.” In addition, the article said, “some 12.6% of patient family respondents said they felt under pressure by the patient’s doctor to allow a tube to be implanted.” Read the full article here:

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/09/feeding-tube-decisions-often-made-in-haste/?partner=rss&emc=rss