The Troubling Trichotomy 10 Years Later–Where Are We Now?

A decade ago, "Nutrition Support and The Troubling Trichotomy: A Call To Action" was published in this journal, identifying existing conflicts among technological, ethical, and legal aspects of nutrition support therapy, particularly in terminal or end-of-life situations. Over the past 10 years, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and others have responded to the action call. A "state of the trichotomy" reveals that while much has been achieved, differences in all 3 aspects will continue to exist due to their dynamic and ever-changing states. The technology arena has made it possible to increase the delivery of nutrition support in alternative settings with the use of telemedicine and social media. Critical/crucial conversations and earlier declarations of individual wishes for care and treatment while having decision-making capacity have been enhanced with the focus on patient-centered and family-centered care. The definition of death as brain death has been challenged in at least one instance. Conflicts between the state’s interests and the individual’s interests have added to recent legal controversies. Notwithstanding the progress made over the past 10 years, several challenges remain. The future challenges presented by the Troubling Trichotomy can be best confronted if we ACT—Accountability, Communication, and Teamwork. The focus of teamwork should move from multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams to transdisciplinary teams, reflecting the shift to function rather than form presented by the new healthcare environment. The transdisciplinary team will be able address the opportunities of the Troubling Trichotomy in the next decade by incorporating the 12 Cs, as detailed in the article.