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Deep and continuous palliative sedation (terminal sedation): clinical-ethical and philosophical aspects


Materstvedt, L J; Bosshard, G (2009). Deep and continuous palliative sedation (terminal sedation): clinical-ethical and philosophical aspects. Lancet Oncology, 10(6):622-627.

Abstract

Terminal sedation continues to fuel debate. When confronted with a patient for whom terminal sedation is considered a possible treatment option, decision making can be difficult. In this paper we focus on the clinical-ethical issues, with an aim to provide clinicians with ways of framing the issue from an ethical point of view. In addition to the clinical-ethical issues, terminal sedation touches upon interesting and complex questions of an essentially philosophical nature. What it means to be a "person" is one such question, and is a topic that is relevant to clinical, daily practice. Accordingly, in the latter part of this paper we draw briefly on selected philosophical positions to elucidate this question. A doctor's belief of what it means to be a "person" might well affect their actions. For example, if a doctor believes terminal sedation involves the destruction of the person, they might not be willing to proceed with it.

Terminal sedation continues to fuel debate. When confronted with a patient for whom terminal sedation is considered a possible treatment option, decision making can be difficult. In this paper we focus on the clinical-ethical issues, with an aim to provide clinicians with ways of framing the issue from an ethical point of view. In addition to the clinical-ethical issues, terminal sedation touches upon interesting and complex questions of an essentially philosophical nature. What it means to be a "person" is one such question, and is a topic that is relevant to clinical, daily practice. Accordingly, in the latter part of this paper we draw briefly on selected philosophical positions to elucidate this question. A doctor's belief of what it means to be a "person" might well affect their actions. For example, if a doctor believes terminal sedation involves the destruction of the person, they might not be willing to proceed with it.

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18 citations in Web of Science®
33 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Center for Ethics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:08 Jun 2009 08:51
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:15
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1470-2045
Additional Information:Elsevier – Full text article
Publisher DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(09)70032-4
Official URL:https://www.zora.uzh.ch/18967/1/2009_Bosshard_G_Deep_and_continuous_palliative_sedation.pdf
PubMed ID:19482251
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-18967

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