Feeding Tubes

1366 words 6 pages
In society today, we often have to make decisions. Some of these decisions may mean the life or death of a loved one. The decision of whether or not to administer artificial nutrition and hydration as a form of life support is one decision that some people have to make. I feel that tube feedings, while okay for short term use are fine, but they should not be used as a form of long term care because the risks outweigh the benefits of having a feeding tube. A tube feeding is a medical procedure that people can accept or deny. Feeding tubes provide a chemically balanced mix of nutrients and fluid to those who are unable to swallow, eat, or drink enough nutrition to maintain proper nutrition and hydration. " Doctors and nurses, rather …show more content…

Another complication encountered by patients with feeding tubes is infection. If the tube is surgically inserted, the insertion site becomes infected easily. The formula used in tube feedings, while sterile before opening, is a prime site for bacteria growth. Infections are treated with antibiotics, which leads to diarrhea in tube-fed patients. With all of the complications of feeding tubes, the quality of life is very poor. Most people with feeding tubes are in hospitals or nursing homes. They have professionals that take care of them all day long. One nurse described her experience with tube feeders by saying, " I am willing to take family members in to show them a tube feeder person because lots of times they do not know what they are getting themselves into. They watch the person deteriorate by the quarter of an inch. They look like they are dead, only they are living and they are staring at you. They get bedsores as big as your hand and you think to yourself ‘I just can't do this to my family.' And they just stare up at you and they are all contractured, and the families- they just stop coming. They can't believe what's happening and when they started it it was the ‘right' thing to do." (Wurzbach, 7). For some the right thing to do, is to die peacefully without a feeding tube. Several medical studies have proven that when near death people feel no pain from hunger or


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