Q&A on Tube Feeding Removal
QUESTION: I’ve heard that Christian Life Resources states a feeding tube should never be removed. Why is that?
ANSWER: Christian Life Resources does not state that feeding tubes should never be removed. We do state that it is critical that you ask questions and make decisions that glorify God rather than attempting to presume authority over life and death. This can lead to some difficult decisions regarding end-of-life care.
There is confusion in people’s minds over what a feeding tube can, and cannot, do. Remember that a feeding tube only provides nutrition and hydration. There is no curative medication or treatment provided through a feeding tube.
When a family is told to remove a feeding tube and let their loved one die, they are really being advised to withhold food and water. There are times when that is appropriate or necessary, but many other times this is actually advocating the starvation and dehydration of a loved one. A simple guideline to follow is this: you do not have the right to end life prematurely, nor do you have the responsibility to prolong the dying process.
Although no one wants to think of spending their last days hooked up to tubes and machines, a feeding tube is seldom used to prolong the dying process. Feeding tubes should not be grouped with extraordinary treatments or care. Christian Life Resources advises against any action that presumes authority over life and death that only God holds. We also suggest you seek the best comfort and care for loved ones as they live their last days on earth.