Artificial Nutrition and Hydration: Clinical Issues


Abstract:  Artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) are common but controversial therapies at the end of life. Although widely used in certain patient populations, strong scientific evidence regarding the benefits of these therapies is lacking. Because of their important roles in teaching patients and families, and collaborating with team members, palliative and hospice nurses need to know and understand the clinical, ethical, and legal implications in providing or foregoing ANH. This article reviews the literature on the clinical benefits and burdens of ANH. The goal is to provide nurses with accurate information to promote good decision-making at the end of life.


Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing


October/December 2003 – Volume 5 – Issue 4 – pp 221-230

Resource Type:

Journal Article


Ersek, Mary PhD, RN