The evidence from medical research and patientsí bedsides suggests that it is often more comfortable to die without artificial hydration provided either by a feeding tube or IV. Until this generation, everyone who died a natural death died without artificially supplied fluids. Refusing food and drink has always been a sign of the last phase of terminal condition. Only recently have people been afraid that not providing food and fluid through a tube would force someone to "starve to death." There is no medical or clinical evidence that not putting a feeding tube or IV leads to a more a painful death. In fact, the research says just the opposite.
The main burden associated with dehydration at the end of life is a dry mouth. Very few people feel any thirst. Dry mouth can be easily addressed with good mouth care, ice chips or a moistened sponge swab.
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