Should a dementia patient be able to refuse food and water?…


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Date: April 06, 2018

01) Should a dementia patient be able to refuse food and water?

“Just last month, Kaiser Health News reported that End of Life Choices New York has published an “aggressive” new advance directive offering a patient with advanced dementia 2 options: Option A that allows “comfort feeding” if the patient allows it or enjoys it, or option B that forbids all food and drink even if the patient seems to accept it. The form provided is 6 pages long with the first 3 pages providing detailed instructions to the person signing the form.

The conversation about how clients want their life prolonged if diagnosed with dementia is an important one. Taking the next step of writing down their wishes in an advanced directive is absolutely necessary so that caregivers, family and other medical providers are clear on what the person with dementia wants. However (and unfortunately), it is important to stress to clients that even if they put their wishes in writing, there is no guarantee that a facility or medical provider will honor those wishes.”

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