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Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem

versão On-line ISSN 1518-8345


TABAK, Nili. Fruits of technology: should we feed an old patient at all costs?. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem [online]. 1997, vol.5, n.2, pp.61-67. ISSN 1518-8345.

The purpose of this article is to analyze questions on a complex ethic, medical and caring dilemma about reasons to continue or suspend compelled alimentation in really old patients carrying progressive acute dementia. Traditionally, the principle of life holiness supports the idea that life should be extended at all costs and the decision to continue feeding the patients is not questioned. However, revolutionary ideas are arising about attitudes, concepts and value of treatment, conducting an urgent need to discuss this problem deeply. Until when should we compel demented patients to eat, as they do not accept food and have to be fed through a catheter or intraveined alimentation, tying back their hands or using other measures? This discussion occurred in a geriatric institution at Israel, when a doctor's order was not accepted by nurses, as they had a different way of seeing the problem. A national conference on this theme was organized with the attendance of doctors, nurses, social workers and psychologists.

Palavras-chave : elderly people; compelled alimentation; geriatric nurse.

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