My Father is in the hospital and we will find out in the next few days if it is his recent UTI or end stage Parkinson's. If his throat closes up or he becomes unresponsive, my mother could be faced with the decision of putting him on a feeding tube. We know nothing about it. Can we keep him out of a nursing home and also have a feeding tube? What is the quality of life?
We don't know enough to even know what questions to ask.

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Katherine, I think it all depends on where a person is in their disease. If someone has an expectation of living an extended period of time with tube feeding and their overall quality of life is good then of course it is a good option. The above poster mentioned being at end stage Parkinson's. In that case death is imminent or at least likely to occur within a fairly short period of time, months, or certainly less than a year. In that case as Pam points out supplementary feeding is just prolonging the dying process and probably causing unneeded suffering along the way. BTW, I'm glad your husband is doing well and able to enjoy his life!
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I can't believe the above advice was to just let him die. My husband has had his PEG tube for 2 years now. Prior to that a portion of everything he drank or ate was ending up in his lungs. I'm astounded that I keep reading, over and over again, how this procedure does not extended life. Prior to the tube I was given the same advice, make him comfortable, while my husband lie in I.C.U. Thankfully, the palliative care doctor didn't heed the other's advice and Doug is still alive and kicking - 2 years later - with no sign of going anywhere soon.
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Feeding tubes add nothing to the quality of life, plus there is a risk of aspiration into the lungs, followed by pneumonia. It does not restore life, but it does prolong the dying process by a few weeks. Call in Hospice, let them handle the situation and spend what little time there is left making him comfortable. Leave the rest to God, have faith that God has a Plan.
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