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12th Mar

2015

G-Tube Feeding

Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, better known as G-tube feeding, is a relatively simple and safe process. However, in spite of it being uncomplicated, it is the center of some very complicated moral and legal discussions. This is mainly because patients receiving this type of feeding do not have to accept or consent to this type of procedure. Therefore, to some it is considered a type of forced feeding.

 

The large majority of patients receiving tube feeding are seniors and the figures where PEG is utilized has been steadily rising since the late 1980s. Most often, the decision to use this type of feeding is made without the patient’s input and is in a situation when a patient is near death. Some studies have found a significantly increased death rate in cases where G-tube feeding is used, bringing into question whether the benefits are really worth it.

 

Because of this, the practice has come into question and is a subject largely debated in the medical and legal fields. Furthermore, this is something that families want to be aware of so they can get input from their elderly loved one ahead of time, in the event the decision comes into play later on.

 

It is usually best to have a meeting with your doctor and Hawaii senior assisted living care facility with your elderly one present. The benefits and risks should be discussed, along with the wishes of your loved taking into account different circumstances. This will leave everyone much clearer on what they want to be done if they are unable to participate in the decision making process when the time comes.

 

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind what the goal of the provided care is supposed to be. Many times if a patient has a condition that cannot be cured, then the primary goal is quality of life and also comfort.

 

However, there can be a whole range of factors and shades of gray when you are not certain what the ultimate outcome will be. These are the times when the meeting with your care providers at your Hawaii senior assisted living facility will come into play and have the most impact. While these discussions can be uncomfortable, many times it will make things much easier and give peace of mind to the person who has to make the decision later.

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