Improving End-of-Life Nutrition Care: Solutions for Confronting Ethical Dilemmas

As professionals the focus of our medical training is on implementing nutrition protocols using food/fluid to sustain life and promote healing.   What is our professional standard of conduct concerning the ethical dilemmas that our clients confront?  The position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states “ individuals have the right to request or refuse nutrition and hydration as medical treatment.” Do you have an active role in collaborative ethical deliberation on your ethics committee?   What is health related quality of life?   Do you screen for quality of life as part of your nutrition screening process?  Clients not only come in various sizes and shape but their diverse cultural and religious values impact their decisions regarding medical treatment at end of life

Note: this topic meets the Academy’s Ethics requirement.

Objectives:

  • Integrate clinical ethics into practice with a focus on patient –centered care
  • Understand how cultural and religion diversity impacts decision making in our heterogeneous population
  • Improve communication and education skills to advance nutrition ethical decision-making
  • Apply steps to improve end of life nutrition care
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