Sedation at the End of Life. Clinical Realities, Trends and Current Debate

  • Paulina TaboadaEmail author
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 116)


The use of sedation is not new in medicine. In fact, sedation is widely used to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with both invasive procedures such as surgery, as well as severe burns (Claessens et al. 2008; Cherny and Radbruch 2009). Similarly, in Psychiatry it is used in extremely agitated patients, or in those suffering from severe panic attacks. Still, the first descriptions of the use of sedation for symptom-control in advanced stages of incurable diseases were published in 1990–1991, and it was not until 2000 that the term ‘palliative sedation’ (PS) was coined (Claessens et al. 2008). Since then, sedation has been progressively accepted as a therapeutic tool in the care for dying patients (Palliative Medicine) (Claessens et al. 2008; Cherny and Radbruch 2009; Cherny 2006; Krakauer 2009).


National Guideline Deep Coma Conceptual Definition Palliative Medicine Palliative Sedation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Bioethics and Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of MedicinePontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile

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