Past Issues

Nutritional Support in Terminal Patient

Antonio Reguera – Teba1,*, Carmen Llácer- Pérez2

1Department of Surgery. Member of Ethics Committé. University Hospital of Jaen ( Spain)

2Pharmacy office " Llácer Gallach". Martos ( Spain)

*Corresponding Author: Antonio Reguera - Teba, Department of Surgery. Member of Ethics Committé. University Hospital of Jaen ( Spain); Email: [email protected]

Received Date: May 3, 2023

Publication Date: May 31, 2023

Citation: Reguera Teba A, Llácer Pérez C. (2023). Nutritional Support in Terminal Patient. Clin Res. 4(2):13.

Copyright: Reguera Teba A, et al. © (2023). 


Malnutrition is a frequent problem in the situation of terminal illness. The indication of artificial nutritional support in these patients creates ethical conflicts that are difficult to resolve. Palliative care is a type of approach that seeks the humanization and wellbeing of patients with chronic conditions, regardless of the underlying disease. In this sense, seeking the joint participation of a multidisciplinary care team, the patient, and his or her family is the main goal. In patients in this situation, nutrition should be regarded as an approach that is able to provide benefits but that can also bear risks. Therefore, its indication should be subject to a careful and continuous evaluation. Indication for hydration and artificial nutrition (HAN) is based on respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Nutrition in palliative patients should be addressed in the same ways as other care processes, such as antibiotic therapy or mechanical ventilation. Therefore, HAN should be indicated to improve patient comfort and clinical outcomes, but when HAN results in suffering or discomfort, outweighing its benefits it should be contraindicated or discontinued. This paper suggests lines of action that can serve as clinical guidance, although decision-making must always be individualized, taking into account the balance between risks and benefits of this treatment modality. The patient's wishes must be given top priority.

Keywords: Nutrition, hydration, terminal illness, palliative care

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