Wednesday, October 12, 2005
The current JAMA has a perspectives article about palliative sedation. I don't have much to say about it other than that it is well written, thorough, & mostly focuses on the practical aspects of the practice. They mention controversies around palliative sedation for existential suffering but not much more. They also, in discussing proportionality & the ethics of palliative sedation (severe symptoms vs. hastening death for example) suggest that, in their opinion, hastening death by "a few months" can be justified & proportional but say any more about this. I think many people will feel that there's a difference between a few days and a few months (especially when talking about proportionality & not intention) & that this statement needs some follow-up.
(There's also a gem of a news article about neuroimaging of the placebo effect.)