The Ethics of Sedation at the End of Life

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter considers a number of ethical issues that are raised by sedation at the end of life (also known as palliative sedation or terminal sedation). The first sections consider terminology and whether or not some sedation practices are life-shortening. Later sections analyse whether all kinds of suffering are valid indications for sedation at the end of life, and the relation between sedation and other end of life practices such as assisted suicide and euthanasia. It is argued that whereas sedation at the end of life is in some ways distinct from other end of life practices, there are also significant overlaps in intentions and aims pursued.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary European Perspectives on the Ethics of End of Life Care
EditorsNathan Emmerich, Pierre Mallia, Bert Gordijn, Francesca Pistoia
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783030400330
ISBN (Print)9783030400323, 9783030400354
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2020

Publication series

NamePhilosophy and Medicine
ISSN (Print)0376-7418
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0080


  • End of life decision-making
  • Existential suffering
  • Intention
  • Palliative sedation
  • Sedation at the end of life
  • Terminal sedation


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