Palliative sedation is a beneficial therapy as it provides comfort and dignified death. The key value of palliative medicine is to relieve suffering (Braun, Hagen & Clark, 2003). It is an accepted and effective symptom control method for patients with intractable physical symptoms.
Palliative sedation get supported by beneficence, autonomy and double effect doctrine. According to autonomy every person has a right to decide to regard health status based on the beliefs, values and goals. Suffering being a personal experience, a person should be given a chance to choose the options they wish to use to relieve pain (Quill, Dresser & Brock, 1997).
Based on beneficence principle, health care practitioners should offer care that is beneficial to patients. Relief of suffering whether physical or emotional is their duty. Clinicians should weigh all the options and bear in mind that palliative sedation is beneficial to the caregivers and family too. The double effect doctrine deals with the intention of treatment. In this case, the intention is to relieve suffering as the patient nears death.
Before administering palliative sedation, it is necessary to ensure all other options are exhausted, and the symptoms are unmanageable. Consider different options such as intermittent, continuous and respite sedation. Caution must be exercised, and administering should be done on informed consent (Hallenbeck, 2000).
Shaver, W. & Rousseau, P. (2005). A challenge to the ethical validity of palliative sedation. Program and abstracts of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine/Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Annual Assembly. New Orleans, ...
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