Endorsed by the Association of British Neurologists, British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, British Dietetic Association, British Geriatrics Society, Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.
Feeding is basic to life but it can also be an artificial medical procedure in the power of health professionals. Sometimes it causes dilemmas and strong differences of opinion between patients, relatives and professionals. This report is the result.
It acknowledges the confusion and uncertainty that sometimes surrounds decision-making and practice, including the difficulties of carrying out some of the technical interventions involved.
The report provides evidence-based guidance on the mechanisms and techniques of oral and artificial nutrition in health and disease. It sets out the ethical and legal concerns that provide the framework for decision-making. Case studies then illustrate dilemmas and solutions, for example on deciding whether to withhold or provide artificial nutrition.
The report, which is available to purchase or download as a pdf, is essential reading for all those involved in caring for people who have nutritional and oral feeding difficulties, including gastroenterologists, ward nurses, geriatricians, dieticians, speech therapists, neurologists, care home and community nurses, as well as carers, family and the patients themselves.