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This web site is designed to help patients, family members, and care givers make thoughtful, informed decisions about the option of tube feeding at the end of life.  The navigation bar provides access to the following topics:

Medicine

This section of the site reviews clinical information on various forms of artificially provided nutrition and hydration (ANH) and comfort care procedures for those who chose to forgo food and fluids at the end of life.

Key medical, legal and ethics organizations are in consensus:  Artificial nutrition and hydration is a medical procedure that may be withheld or withdrawn (1) if this is a decision the patient would make, if able, or (2) if tube feeding does not serve the patient's best interests.  Ethics statements from key organizations that document this position are reviewed in this section of the site.

State laws

Foregoing artificial nutrition and hydration has come to be widely accepted as a legitimate option under state law.  A survey of how the 50 states (and D.C.) view this issue is provided here (with citations to statutes and court cases in each state).

Religion

Most (but not all) religious denominations are generally open to the option of forgoing life-sustaining treatment -- including artificially provided nutrition and hydration -- at the end of life.  Position statements of major religious denominations are summarized here (with full citations to source documents).

Glossary

You can find explanations of key medical and legal terms here.



Resources



This page lists relevant web links and book references for further reading and reflection.

   
   

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jmh
 

Author's note: Jim Hoefler is a professor of Political Science at Dickinson College, which serves as the host of this site.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not the College.  Further, the information contained herein is general in nature, and is not a substitute for medical advice from a doctor, legal advice from an attorney, or religious counsel from a cleric.