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Row over force feeding of patients with Alzheimer's disease

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7104.327 (Published 09 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:327
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. Utrecht

    Doctors in the Netherlands have argued that patients with dementia who are terminally ill should be allowed to starve rather than be artificially fed. They spoke out after the relatives of a patient with Alzheimer's disease accused a nursing home of attempted murder, claiming the home intentionally let him dehydrate.

    Patients with Alzheimer's disease who consistently refuse food and drink are rarely force fed in the Netherlands in contrast to the policy in other countries such as Germany and the United States. It is argued that force feeding needlessly extends the dying …

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