Many health problems that elderly people face today relate not only to the nature of their affliction but also to the kind of treatment required. Such treatment often includes artificial nutrition and hydration, (ANH) a procedure which, despite its technical and invasive character, is still considered to be vested with symbolic meanings. It is precisely during the efforts to reach a legal consensus that the discrepancies between various cultural contexts become obvious. The following case explores the Greek clinical territory in comparison with the international situation, and the reasons why, in Greece, the right to refuse treatment is not necessarily interpreted as including the right to refuse artificial nutrition and hydration as well.
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