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Medically Administered Nutrition and Hydration 

Medically Administered Nutrition and Hydration
Medically Administered Nutrition and Hydration

Katy M. Lanz

, Michelle S. Gabriel

, and Jennifer A. Tschanz

Page of

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date: 28 September 2020

The purpose of this chapter is to serve as a resource for nurses to support their ability in caring for patients and families faced with the decision to initiate or discontinue medically administered hydration and nutrition (MAHN). The chapter begins with a review of the clinical indications for considering MAHN followed by a discussion of the current evidence for each of these interventions to address distressing symptoms in the palliative setting. The chapter then reviews current guidelines for MAHN from various professional organizations and then transitions into a discussion of the ethics and legal precedents surrounding the provision or discontinuation of MAHN. The chapter concludes with an overview of additional factors that affect decision-making regarding these interventions (e.g., religious beliefs and culture) and communication strategies to empower nurses to actively participate in discussions about MAHN and support patients and families in this decision-making process.

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