Palliative Sedation and the Goals of Care at the End of Life

  • William F. SullivanEmail author
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 116)


The term palliative sedation covers a range of current practices. Some have argued that the ethical boundary distinguishing palliative sedation from euthanasia is becoming blurred in a number of these practices (Ten Have and Welie 2014; Hauser and Walsh 2009). Recent policy frameworks and guidelines that have been developed by health care institutions or groups of clinicians in different countries are not consistent in terminology or the medical and ethical guidance that they provide (Taboada 2011; Claessens et al. 2008).


Palliative Care Health Care Professional Shared Understanding Distressing Symptom Palliative Sedation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful for the assistance of Prof. John Heng of King’s University College, London, Canada in researching and writing this chapter. I also acknowledge the helpful comments of an anonymous reviewer of the first draft of this chapter, some of whose ideas I have incorporated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Michael’s Hospital Family Practice Unit, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Surrey Place CenterTorontoCanada

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