RenalWEB links to a Controversies in Nephrology Nursing article on ANNA: Should Patients Eat During Hemodialysis Treatments? by Helene Christner and Monica Riley. They list the pro and con arguments. I've heard it all before - this has to be the subject of 100s of discussion board and listserv threads.
Sure. Sure. I support the conclusion of the article - we need more research into the actual dialysis treatment but I think we can sort this one out without a double blind study. I think those who put forward the con argument are talking about blanket policies. One size fits all rules that accommodate the lowest common denominator amongst a unit's dialyzors. I think a willingness to adopt blanket policies does not speak well of the unit.
Obviously some dialyzors have no problem eating during treatment. However, I've been to dialysis units across the globe, I know sandwiches are often served. Most dialyzors - if well dialyzed, do not have a problem eating . I know most other countries in the world - the sandwich serving countries - have much better dialysis outcomes. I know that a blanket no food policy is not justified in most cases (if a unit is running all of their patients for less than four hours, a no food policy may be neccessry but it will be the least of their patients problems).
As far as the threat of novel lawsuits? In my experience the threat of a novel lawsuit is the last refuge for a weak argument.