ROCHESTER, Minn. -- In a review article published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings,(http://www.
Physician reviewers find that palliative sedation has an important place on the continuum of appropriate palliative care. "At the end of life, patient goals often shift to comfort, and removal of burdens and relief of suffering become paramount," says lead author, Paul Mueller, M.D.(http://www.
Palliative sedation is appropriate therapy for refractory and unacceptably severe suffering. "As with any other therapy, the patient or surrogate should be informed of potential adverse effects, including loss of social interaction and potential for life-threatening aspiration or respiratory depression. Palliative medicine teams should be involved, if possible, in any case in which palliative sedation is considered," says Dr. Mueller.
"We hope that by increasing familiarity with the ethical basis for these practices we will encourage their appropriate application," he adds.
A peer-reviewed journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings publishes original articles and reviews dealing with clinical and laboratory medicine, clinical research, basic science research and clinical epidemiology. Mayo Clinic Proceedings is published monthly by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research as part of its commitment to the medical education of physicians. The journal has been published for more than 80 years and has a circulation of 130,000 nationally and internationally. Articles are available online at www.mayoclinicproceedings.com.
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