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March 22/29, 2000

Tube Feeding in Patients With Advanced Dementia

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(12):1563-1564. doi:10.1001/jama.283.12.1563

To the Editor: In their discussion of gastrostomy tube (GT) feeding of patients with advanced dementia, Dr Finucane and colleagues1 present clinical consequences of GT feeding separately from the ethical issues surrounding it. They conclude that GT feeding does not improve survival or maintain quality of life of these patients. However, the absence of evidence for the effectiveness of GT feeding to prolong life in such patients does not refute the possibility that such benefit indeed exists.