Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One in Five Feeding Tubes "Futile"?

From the BBC, a report on what some call the over-use of feeding tubes in British patients. Now overlay that on the Catholic Church's new Directive #58 which counts feeding tubes as "obligatory" care. I don't mean that the Church would eschew mouth feedings prematurely. But the stats in this quote are applicable.

Doctors described the insertion of a stomach feeding tube as an invasive procedure, which carried a significant risk of infection and even death.

They said feeding difficulties were a "growing problem" on hospital wards and in care homes, because of the rising number of dementia patients.

A survey suggested that, in 2007, 39,000 people in the UK, not including those in hospital, were being artificially fed. A third of them were living in nursing homes.

Other research by doctors who reviewed medical records suggested that one in five cases of tube feeding was "futile".

One in five.

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