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Chapter 6: Artificial Nutrition and Hydration

Nessa Coyle and Vidette Todaro-Franceschi’s chapter on artificial nutrition and hydration further illustrates the complexity of surrogacy. In their case, the patient’s daughter is offered both the time and information to reach a consensus with her family on the best mode of treatment. In this chapter, Coyle and Todaro-Franceschi offer an excellent overview of the possibilities and limits of artificial nutrition and hydration. Coyle and Todaro-Franceschi remind readers of the cultural, social, and spiritual sensitivities inherent in withdrawing or withholding artificial nutrition and hydration, reinforcing the importance of providing patients, their families, and the surrogates with education about what artificial nutrition and hydration entail and what occurs as life ebbs. Especially valuable in their chapter is their careful, model analysis of how biomedical ethical principles frame end-of-life decisions.

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