Ethical Issues Involved in Patients’ Rights to Refuse Artificially Administered Nutrition and Hydration and Implications for the Speech-Language Pathologist In the rapidly expanding field of communication disorders and sciences, a growing number of speech-language pathologists are routinely involved in the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders. A survey conducted by Logemann (1994)  indicates that more than 50% of speech-language pathologists working in hospitals and extended care facilities have ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   May 01, 1999
Ethical Issues Involved in Patients’ Rights to Refuse Artificially Administered Nutrition and Hydration and Implications for the Speech-Language Pathologist
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tracy L. Landes
    Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Viewpoint
Viewpoint   |   May 01, 1999
Ethical Issues Involved in Patients’ Rights to Refuse Artificially Administered Nutrition and Hydration and Implications for the Speech-Language Pathologist
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1999, Vol. 8, 109-117. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0802.109
History: Received June 26, 1998 , Accepted March 3, 1999
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1999, Vol. 8, 109-117. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0802.109
History: Received June 26, 1998; Accepted March 3, 1999
In the rapidly expanding field of communication disorders and sciences, a growing number of speech-language pathologists are routinely involved in the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders. A survey conducted by Logemann (1994)  indicates that more than 50% of speech-language pathologists working in hospitals and extended care facilities have patients with dysphagia on their caseloads. When working with this population, the speech-language pathologist is primarily concerned with the patients’ nutritional-hydration status and the patients’ safety during swallowing (Logemann, 1998). In circumstances that prevent an individual from safely consuming an oral diet or sustaining adequate nutrition and hydration, alternative alimentation, such as tube feeding, is often recommended. The use of feeding tubes has become routine medical care, particularly in long-term care facilities and for geriatric patients. According to Sloane and Rizzolo (1993), over 10% of residents in some nursing homes have gastric feeding tubes. Finucane and Bynum (1996)  report 75,000 gastric tube placements in the United States Medicare program during 1991.
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