1. Breier-Mackie, Sarah PhD, RN

Article Content

More than ever before, endoscopic feeding tube placement is now indicated for eating disorders, especially severe anorexia nervosa. Despite difficulties in obtaining correct prevalence data due to the many cases of eating disorders that go unreported, it is estimated that in the United States, the prevalence of anorexia nervosa is 1%. Some patients will become seriously ill from longstanding starvation and its myriad of comorbidities, and die. Consequently, enforced refeeding treatment in severe anorexia nervosa presents controversial ethical and legal issues within gastroenterology nursing. Although patients with severe anorexia nervosa are not globally incompetent, their distorted perceptions and impaired thought processes, judgment, capacity, and behavior often qualify them for commitment purposes for tube feeding. Yet this qualification raises both serious ethical and legal concerns concerning the patient's autonomy and the treating team's ability to override that autonomy. The case for and against aggressive enteral refeeding treatment in severe cases of anorexia nervosa needs to be carefully examined for each individual. This presentation will outline the pros and cons of such an enforced approach to life-saving refeeding treatment in both ethical and legal terms in this 'new wave' of patients who are increasingly finding themselves on the receiving end of artificial nutrition and hydration.


Section Description

We are pleased to present the abstracts from SGNA's 34th Annual Course, Charting a Course for Professional Growth. The diversity of these topics certainly reflects the richness and breadth of our specialty. In keeping with the tradition of the Annual Course, we hope the following abstracts will encourage discussions for improving nursing practice and patient care outcomes.