Caring for a dying person can be difficult. Caring for a dying person in our culture, a culture increasingly focused on death, can be doubly difficult, especially when questions of hydration, feeding, and assisted death come up. In our culture, we seem to easily forgo feeding. The mantra has been that dehydration is a comfortable way to die. And now, if things become uncomfortable we have sanctioned ending life with medical killing.
Let me share a story based on a real life. The themes are the same. The details are changed to respect privacy. (note – Among other things this story refers for feeding tubes and IVs. It is not a definitive guide on their use in palliative care. The best approach depends on each situation. This story is only one situation and is meant to stimulate thought an discussion.)