Extended Discussion of Palliative Sedation in the New York Times
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wesley J. Smith
Palliative sedation, that is putting an imminently dying patient into an artificial coma and allowing the disease to take its course, is a legitimate palliative technique–when the symptoms warrant it. Thus, in the rare case where pain can’t be controlled or a patient panics due to severe agitation or inability to catch a breath, a legitimate answer is sedation.
This should give us all the great comfort of knowing we need not die in agony–no matter what our condition. And today, the New York Times has a pretty good in-depth discussion of the issue. It is too long to detail fully in a blog, but there are some points worth highlighting.