The percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube: Medical and ethical issues in placement
If no physiologic benefit is expected with PEG placement (anorexia-cachexia syndrome), the health care team has no obligation to offer or perform an intervention. This same principle would apply if intervention improves physiologic states but has no effect on quality of life (e.g., permanent vegetative state). Small-bore feeding tubes are cost effective and relatively safe for enteral feedings of up to 6-8 weeks. This is especially pertinent in the population with acute neurological deficits, in which prognostication on extent of impairment is best estimated by communication with neurologist. In the geriatric population there is no proved benefit in weight gain or markers of nutrition (albumin, prealbumin) in patients with malnutrition due to impaired oral intake.