- the principle of double effect
- lack of uniformity in guidelines for the use of palliative
sedation across medical institutions
- deciding whether to withhold hydration and nutrition with
- whether palliative sedation is euthanasia
- obtaining informed consent
- insufficient proof that unconscious patients do not
The medical community is still debating these issues.
In addition to the practical and ethical problems raised by palliative sedation,
there is the issue of choice. By the time palliative sedation is an option, patients are in great distress and near death. It is not their choice. Typically, family members decide, not the patients.
I originally published this article on Examiner.com.