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February 1984

Intravenous Support in Dying Patients

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(2):420. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350140254052

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To the Editor.  —As to whether IV support is morally required for a dying patient, I take exception to the points made by Micetich et al. Withdrawing IV fluids and calories will lead to dehydration and eventual metabolic acidosis. Continuing full ventilatory support can help correct acid-base disturbances and postpone death, leading to further agony for family and staff. Thus, the consideration of reducing ventilatory support should accompany the decision to withdraw IV fluids.

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