Nutrition support and nonabandonment

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Abstract

Nonabandonment means encouraging communication, showing genuine concern, being available, keeping promises, and ensuring the patient's continuity of care. It goes beyond the usual standards of care that are followed for avoiding legal negligence. Nonabandonment prevents the attitude that nothing can be done and is particularly applicable to those who are near the end of their lives. Nutrition support can reinforce this philosophy. The article emphasizes this philosophy as applied to patients with advanced cancer and illustrates two different concepts regarding nourishment in these patients. It discusses ethical considerations and emphasizes the importance of the patient's own goals in determining the extent of nutrition support.

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