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  1. Mion, Lorraine C. PhD, RN
  2. O'Connell, Anne MSN, RN


A common ethical and legal issue in elder care involves the decision to withhold or withdraw parenteral hydration and nutrition (PHN) at the end of life and in the terminal stage of dementia. The aging of the population will impact the frequency with which nurses face this situation in their practices and with their families. The ethical, legal, and clinical issues involving PHN discussed in this article will assist the nurse in his or her practice.