Show Summary Details
Page of

Palliative Sedation 

Palliative Sedation
Chapter:
Palliative Sedation
Author(s):

Robert C. Macauley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199313945.003.0009
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 August 2019

Palliative sedation refers to lowering a patient’s level of consciousness so that she no longer suffers from intolerable and refractory symptoms. Some forms of palliative sedation are ethically uncontroversial, such as emergency or respite sedation. Continuous sedation to unconsciousness (CSU) is controversial in that a patient in such a state is unable to eat or drink and may not be able to protect her airway. Ethically relevant considerations include the inability to participate in subsequent decision-making, the uncertain quality of an unconscious life, and the impact on life expectancy (which is often misunderstood). Special cases of CSU for existential distress and in children demand in-depth analysis.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.