Author Affiliation: Department of Medicine, Highland Hospital/University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.
Food plays important biological, social, religious, and symbolic roles
in our society. From a mother breastfeeding her infant to a grandmother serving
a meal, the provision of nutrition is a common way to demonstrate love and
affection. Given these important roles of food, great concern arises when
a person loses the ability to eat, a characteristic that often accompanies
the dying process. During this time of great distress, families turn to familiar
ways of providing comfort and expressing love, and the inability to provide
food can be very unsettling.
McCann R. Lack of Evidence About Tube Feeding—Food for Thought. JAMA. 1999;282(14):1380-1381. doi:10.1001/jama.282.14.1380