Hydration and Nutrition

Patients should be supported to eat and drink as they feel able. Relatives and carers need support in how they may offer food and drink when a person is actively dying. Whenever appropriate, decisions about clinically assisted nutrition or hydration should be carefully discussed with patients and carers.

Individuals vary in the extent to which they wish to be involved in decisions about their own treatment. Most would want to make or influence decisions about the care they receive. This includes day to day decisions about food, drink and personal care, as well as clinical and treatment decisions.

Individuals also vary in the extent to which they wish their families and those important to them to be involved in decision-making. Sensitive communication is needed to ascertain the wishes of the dying person and their wishes must be respected.