Palliative sedation for the relief of refractory physical symptoms
Author: Cherny, Nathan I.
Source: Progress in Palliative Care, Volume 16, Number 1, February 2008 , pp. 51-62(12)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:At the end of life, all patients have the right to the adequate relief of physical symptoms. Consequently, there is need to ensure that appropriate infrastructural measures are addressed to enhance the likelihood that this right will be fulfilled. In order to achieve this, it is critical that symptoms at the end of life be assessed and, when relief is needed, that the adequacy of symptom relief be determined by the patient. Inadequately received symptoms in dying patients must be relieved to the patient's satisfaction and symptoms that are difficult to control must be evaluated by clinicians expert in symptom control at the end of life. When a symptom is refractory to normal palliative approaches, and only sedation can provide the needed relief, this should be available to patients with appropriate infrastructural guidelines to prevent the inappropriate application of this approach.
Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: 2008-02-01