palliative sedation


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palliative sedation

The administration of sedative and hypnotic drugs to dying patients to induce coma and alleviate pain and suffering. It is a technique used in end-of-life care when other measures to achieve comfort for the dying patient have failed. Medications such as barbiturates and opiates are used to tranquilize the patient. The intent is not to hasten death, although ultimately, palliative sedation induces a coma from which the patient will not awaken.
See also: sedation
References in periodicals archive ?
Exploration of concerns of relatives during continuous palliative sedation of their family members with cancer.
Palliative sedation for intolerable suffering: Curr Opin Oncol.
Differences in physician-reported practice in palliative sedation therapy.
Other end-of-life choices dying patients may make which alter time of death include: refusing or directing the withdrawal of life prolonging treatment, refusing food and fluid while receiving supportive palliative care, and aggressive pain and symptom management, including palliative sedation.
Some people oppose palliative sedation because it can interfere with the opportunity for a person to communicate with family members and friends or to finish psychological or spiritual work as his or her life ends.
In keeping with this principle, our working group proposes the creation of a guideline that considers palliative sedation therapy as a proportionate response to the clinical symptoms being managed.
The practice of sedating patients with intractable pain into unconsciousness and withholding food and water until death inevitably ensues is known as terminal or palliative sedation and was endorsed as an acceptable option, indeed one seen as negating the need for assisted suicide, by the AMA and other amici in the Quill and Glucksberg cases.
Physician reviewers find that palliative sedation has an important place on the continuum of appropriate palliative care.
Another term that appeared was terminal palliative sedation (a slower form of euthanasia than lethal injection).
The CMA definition for Palliative Sedation is helpful.
In palliative sedation the intention is to relieve severely distressing and refractory symptoms, 'the procedure is to use a sedating drug for symptom control and the successful outcome is the alleviation of distress.
Current guidelines treat palliative sedation to unconsciousness as an effective medical treatment for terminally ill patients who need relief from severe symptoms, yet also restrict its use in ways that are extraordinary for medical treatments.