Here's an interesting take on that same NYTimes article about the use of feeding tubes in end-stage Alzheimer's disease. The author, a doctor who spent the early part of her medical training caring for Alzheimer's patients, appears aghast to learn that feeding tubes were used in the first place, let alone that there is a controversy surrounding their discontinuation in favor of hand feeding.
Some beautiful nuggets in the article. I was concerned that hand feeding may lead to neglect or quickly giving up by those not dedicated to provide care. But she had genuine persistence: "What else did they have to do all day and what else was I there for, after all?" I would hope that anyone who provides daily care for such patients would have the same attitude. I guess the stories of neglect are what we hear about most in the news or from family and friends. And neglect is what we have to be on guard against. Yet this lady is the real thing, someone who knows what "care" means.
Go take a look and read the article to the end. Something to think about there.