Aspiration pneumonia is the medical term when food/fluids or phlegm of any kind go down the wrong pipe! This is different from a bacterial pneumonia where there is an infection.
At the end-of-life swallowing can be unnatural and difficult. A person’s weakness and progression of a disease places this normal daily act into a category of just to hard to do.
Here lies one of the most difficult struggles for people to surrender to, not making someone eat/drink. The emotional wrestling that goes on to let “nature take its course” is profoundly hard. Yet, protecting a person from aspiration is one of the kindest acts in caring for the dying.