(BioEdge) – Many patients require artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) at the end of life.
But what should medical staff do when a patient seeks to hasten death by having ANH withdrawn? Despite the ethical complexities of the situation, medical guidelines are vague and, in some cases, non-existent.
But the American Nurses Association has issued a new position statement that categorically endorses “voluntary stopping of eating and drinking” (VSED).
In the statement, the ANA asserts that “VSED at the end of life is used to hasten death, and is a reflection of autonomy and the patient’s desire for control.” CONTINUE