Ethical Issues In Medical Research Essay

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While it is known that adequate water and nutrition is needed for survival, many health professionals are currently going through the dilemma of whether it is ethical or not to provide artificial tube feeding for patients with terminal diseases. Family and Consumer Science professionals, such as dietitians, know the benefits and risks associated with artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) and have the ability to suggest the most ethical decision to this controversial issue. Recent studies have demonstrated that artificial nutrition provides higher risk of medical complications, increases pain, and false hope of health recovery. Over the years, this historical debate has changed the way the community supports or opposes ANH on terminal disease cases, (Brody et al., 2011) however the justice for each patient is different depending on their diagnosis (Best, 2010). To further demonstrate the intensity of this issue, the research of Hartshell and Williams (2010) indicates that this emotional decision is better made by the patient themselves. Family and Consumer Science professionals, such as dietitians, can provide support to solve this problem by insuring that dietetic students have an ethical educational background incorporated into their major (Hira, 1996).

ANH is defined as providing artificial nutrients and water through
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(2011) suggests, the use of artificial nutrition in patients with terminal diseases has been a debatable issue since the 1950s. In the early 1950s the Roman Catholic institution had a lot to say about how the public saw this dilemma. Catholic teaching states that the use of medical care should not be used to extend life in cases where the use of medical treatment will only cause additional pain and suffering to an individual where death is inevitable. In the 1980s the right of the patients to refuse or remain in treatment was much more important than just conforming to popular religious beliefs (Brody et al.,
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