Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 25 (2):259-268 (2022)

Cornelius Ewuoso
University of Stellenbosch
The response to feeding needs in advanced dementia patients is a subject of ethical inquiry. Advanced dementia is the debilitating result of a range of neurodegenerative diseases. As this terminal illness progresses, patients develop mild to severe dysphagia that can make swallowing difficult. Of the two available options, artificial tube feeding or oral hand feeding, an estimated one-third of these patients will receive artificial tube feeding. However, observational studies have failed to validate the clinical benefits of tube feeding. Ethics of care, the feminist philosophical perspective, and Ubuntu philosophy offer arguments for the choice of oral hand-feeding as a preferrable first option by caregivers as far as possible. These moral theories acknowledge that human beings can be dependent for long periods, mostly early and later years of life. Both views reflect an approach that draws people into a system of interdependent caring relationships. They encourage hand feeding as a way of exhibiting solidarity and respecting human dignity even at the end of life.
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DOI 10.1007/s11019-022-10073-4
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Care. Personal, Political, and Global.Virginia Held - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (2):399-399.
Toward an African Moral Theory.Thaddeus Metz - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (3):321–341.

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