What are the pros and cons of using a feeding tube?

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When a person is at the end of life and they stop swallowing properly and lose their appetite; this is a natural process, not necessarily an illness. Just because we can insert food via a tube to the stomach, doesn't mean we should; the reason people have complications with tube feedings in the situation I have described, is that the individual's body is often unable to process the feeding and use the nutrients; often then if we continue to feed is builds up and overflows into the lungs.
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Vstefans, Also, it's good to note it was the husband who had the power, even though he had moved on, already had another wife, and the parents were not allowed to care for her instead. Big legal battles as he fought to have her euthanized all those years, and then won. A landmark case.
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I think so - bear in mind she did not have a progressive condition, but severe brain injury from lack of oxygen. Most of us thought it was wrong to stop it because she had some responses to people, her parents wanted to care for her, and the person in charge had financial conflict of interest while she had never expressed wishes clearly one way or another.
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Wasn't Terry Shaivo kept alive for about 15 years on a feeding tube?
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While I hate having a feeding tube it really does not restrict me in any way. I set up the feedings overnight while I am asleep and during the day can eat anything I fancy as long as I can get it down in small quantities. I do have to use the commercial feeds, but Medicare pays, because i have a J tube which is fairly small in diameter. The gastric tubes are bigger so it is possible to use home made foods with little risk of blocking the tube.
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My FIL had a head trauma from a fall. He was in late 70's. Spent 3 months in ICU, rehab etc. He had to use a feeding tube. He made what we thought of as a full recovery. He lived another 10 years. He developed dementia in his later years (results of head trauma?) but lived independently. In his case it was a good decision to use the feeding tube. So would agree with others in that it depends on the circumstances.
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If you wish to contact privately you can contact the admins and if everyone is agreeable you will be able to use private email away from the forum. It is however strongly discouraged. You could try private message and set up Facebook contact.
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MaryKathleen,
Welcome to the AC forum. You are exactly right, I should take my jokes over to the whine thread, or somewheres else.
Contacting people outside of the forum is not allowed by AC rules and recommendations. It is considered unsafe internet/social media practice.
If you really need to correct someone, click on their name and private message them on their message board.
I left a message for you, privately.
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My brother had a feeding tube while he was recovering from throat cancer, in his fifties. That lasted several months. It is out now, he is eating normally, and we all are delighted. I am certainly glad this technology is available. I would chose it for myself if I had a temporary need for it and a good chance of recovering (although the older I get the less likely I am to make that choice.)

For an elderly person with dementia, I don't think it is a good choice. We turned it down for my husband twice while he had dementia. From what I have read, it does not change the outcome and it usually involves some kind of restraint. A person with dementia, even if they understand and agree to the device, is just going to have a real hard time leaving it alone.

And there are unusual cases (as vstefans points out) where the feeding tube is needed long term, and allows the person to function normally in other respects.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question "Should my loved one have a feeding tube?"
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sendme2help. Yes, we have a 36' diesel pusher. I don't think this is the forum for your question. Help out there, is there a way sendme2help can contact me outside of this forum?
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