Judging the quality of mercy: drawing a line between palliation and euthanasia

Title

Judging the quality of mercy: drawing a line between palliation and euthanasia

Creator

Morrison WE; Kang TI

Publisher

Pediatrics

Date

2014

Subject

Child; Humans; Pediatrics; Euthanasia; Ethics; Suicide; Medical; Palliative Care; Assisted; Passive; 20th Century; History

Description

Clinicians frequently worry that medications used to treat pain and suffering at the end of life might also hasten death. Intentionally hastening death, or euthanasia, is neither legal nor ethically appropriate in children. In this article, we explore some of the historical and legal background regarding appropriate end-of-life care and outline what distinguishes it from euthanasia. Good principles include clarity of goals and assessments, titration of medications to effect, and open communication. When used appropriately, medications to treat symptoms should rarely hasten death significantly. Medications and interventions that are not justifiable are also discussed, as are the implications of palliative sedation and withholding fluids or nutrition. It is imperative that clinicians know how to justify and use such medications to adequately treat suffering at the end of life within a relevant clinical and legal framework.
2014-02

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

S31-36

Volume

133 Suppl 1

Citation

Morrison WE; Kang TI, “Judging the quality of mercy: drawing a line between palliation and euthanasia,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 25, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/14892.

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