Push Continues to Starve Dementia Patients


(The Corner) – People have the right to refuse medical treatment, including in an advance directive. But they do not–and most definitely, should not–have the right to force caregivers to starve them to death when sustenance is not medically delivered, e.g. spoon feeding.

There has already been one Canadian case–lost–to force a nursing home to starve an Alzheimer’s patient. Now, in Oregon, another such dispute. From the Mail Tribune story:

Although food isn’t being shoved in Nora’s mouth, Crain said in some ways Nora is being forced to eat because if she were still competent she would not want the spoon-feeding intervention. After consulting an expert on appeals, Harris has decided not to challenge Crain’s decision. Continuing the fight likely would cost $10,000 — but more importantly, the appeal would be halted if Nora dies. Harris doesn’t think she would survive the 18-month to three-year protracted court battle. CONTINUE