Continuous sedation until death: moral justifications of physicians and nurses--a content analysis of opinion pieces

Title

Continuous sedation until death: moral justifications of physicians and nurses--a content analysis of opinion pieces

Creator

Rys S; Mortier F; Deliens L; Deschepper R; Battin MP; Bilsen J

Publisher

Medicine, Health Care And Philosophy

Date

2013

Subject

Humans; Palliative Care; Terminal Care; Deep Sedation; Physicians; Morals; Terminology as Topic; Ethics; Conscious Sedation; Nursing

Description

Continuous sedation until death (CSD), the act of reducing or removing the consciousness of an incurably ill patient until death, often provokes medical-ethical discussions in the opinion sections of medical and nursing journals. A content analysis of opinion pieces in medical and nursing literature was conducted to examine how clinicians define and describe CSD, and how they justify this practice morally. Most publications were written by physicians and published in palliative or general medicine journals. Terminal Sedation and Palliative Sedation are the most frequently used terms to describe CSD. Seventeen definitions with varying content were identified. CSD was found to be morally justified in 73% of the publications using justifications such as Last Resort, Doctrine of Double Effect, Sanctity of Life, Autonomy, and Proportionality. The debate over CSD in the opinion sections of medical and nursing journals lacks uniform terms and definitions, and is profoundly marked by 'charged language', aiming at realizing agreement in attitude towards CSD. Not all of the moral justifications found are equally straightforward. To enable a more effective debate, the terms, definitions and justifications for CSD need to be further clarified.
2013-08

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

533-542

Issue

3

Volume

16

Citation

Rys S; Mortier F; Deliens L; Deschepper R; Battin MP; Bilsen J, “Continuous sedation until death: moral justifications of physicians and nurses--a content analysis of opinion pieces,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed June 13, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/14760.

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