To Give or Not to Give Fluids, Artificially: That Is an Ethical Dilemma!

AUTHORS

H R Namazi 1 , Mamak Tahmasebi 2 , *

1 Theology Faculty, Tehran Universityof Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Cancer Institute, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran Universityof Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Namazi H R, Tahmasebi M. To Give or Not to Give Fluids, Artificially: That Is an Ethical Dilemma! , Int J Cancer Manag. 2009 ; 2(4):e80843.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

International Journal of Cancer Management: 2 (4); e80843
Published Online: December 30, 2009
Article Type: Commentaries
Received: September 25, 2009
Accepted: November 08, 2009

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Abstract

Eating and drinking are essential for life. There are clinical situations that artificial hydration is necessary. For dying patients artificial hydration looks useless and in many conditions could even be harmful (e.g. pulmonary edema in hypoalbuminemic patients). In our medical culture artificial hydration is a symbol of care to the patient and withholding it, is a very emotive issue, especially to the family. Attention to autonomy, explanation about advantages and disadvantages of artificial hydration to the family and reassure them that the patient will be looked after and kept comfortable till the last seconds might be the solution of this ethical dilemma.

Keywords

artificial hydration medical ethics ethical dilemma dying patient

© 2009, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

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