Volume 9, Issue 4, Winter 2009
John S. Howland, M.D.
A Defense of Assisted Nutrition and Hydration in Patients with Dementia
Nutrition and hydration are common problems in advanced dementia. There has been growing opposition to the use of tube feeding in these patients both in and out of the Catholic Church. This article takes a critical look at current medical research on the subject and presents a vigorous defense of the use of artificial nutrition and hydration in dementia. A revealing case study is presented and a clear medical and ethical rationale are offered to support the appropriate use of ANH in accord with Church teaching. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 9.4 (Winter 2009): 697–710.