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Have the Answers to Common Legal Questions Concerning Nutrition Support Changed Over the Past Decade? 10 Questions for 10 Years

Have the Answers to Common Legal Questions Concerning Nutrition Support Changed Over the Past Decade? 10 Questions for 10 Years

Nutrition in Clinical Practice 31(3): 285-293

Clinical nutrition specialists (CNSs) are often confronted with technological, ethical, and legal questions, that is, what can be done technologically, what should be done ethically, and what must be done legally, which conflict at times. The conflict represents a "troubling trichotomy" as discussed in the lead article of this issue of Nutrition in Clinical Practice (NCP). During Clinical Nutrition Week in 2006, a symposium covering these 3 topics was presented, and later that year, an article covering the same topic was published in NCP In this article, we revisit several legal questions/issues that were raised 10 years ago and discuss current answers and approaches. Some of the answers remain unchanged. Other answers have been modified by additional legislation, court decisions, or regulations. In addition, new questions/issues have arisen. Some of the most common questions regarding nutrition support involve the following: liability, informed consent, medical decisional incapacity vs legal competence, advance directive specificity, surrogate decision making, physician orders for life-sustaining treatment and electronic medical orders for life-sustaining treatment, legal definition of death, patient vs family decision making, the noncompliant patient, and elder abuse obligations. In the current healthcare environment, these questions and issues are best addressed via a transdisciplinary team that focuses on function rather than form. The CNS can play a pivotal role in dealing with these challenges by applying the acronym ACT: being Accountable and Communicating with all stakeholders while actively participating as an integral part of the transdisciplinary Team.

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Accession: 057967950

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27113077

DOI: 10.1177/0884533616644439

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