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Lancet. 1990 Feb 3;335(8684):278-9.

The sloganism of starvation.

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Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, NY.



Ahronheim, a physician, and Gasner, an attorney with the Society for the Right to Die, object to the use of the word "starvation" in the debate over withholding or withdrawing artificial feeding from certain classes of patients. They reject the images conjured up as irrelevant to discussions of feeding patients who are hopelessly ill. They cite evidence that patients in a persistent vegetative state or coma, or suffering from dementia, do not experience pain and suffering when food and water are withdrawn. The authors argue that the question of the benefits and burdens of artificial feeding must be addressed when decisions concerning care are made, whether those deciding are physicians and patients and/or families, or the courts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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