Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Palliative sedation in JAMA

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. 

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