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Hospital type may play role in decision on feeding tubes

New York Times, February 15, 2010

When nursing home residents with advanced dementia are sent to the hospital, many are given feeding tubes, even though the practice is not believed to help them live longer. A new study finds that the practice is much more prevalent at some hospitals than others. Some hospitals inserted feeding tubes in as few as one of every 100 patients with advanced dementia, others in as many as one of three. Large hospitals and for-profit hospitals were more likely than others to insert the tubes, as were hospitals deemed aggressive about providing end-of-life care, the study found.