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Palliative Sedation: When Suffering Is Intractable at End of Life

Nelson Bander, Peg MSN, NP, ACHPN, FPCN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: October 2017 - Volume 19 - Issue 5 - p 394–401
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000368
Ethics Series

Palliative sedation at the end of life is a necessary option for patients who have intractable symptoms and are suffering when other palliative interventions have been ineffective. Although recognized in palliative care as an ethically sound and legally sanctioned practice, some nurses continue to express concern that death is being hastened. The intent of this article is to provide clarity to the practice of palliative sedation at end of life.

Peg Nelson Bander, MSN, NP, ACHPN, FPCN, is director of palliative care and pain services, St Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac, MI.

Address correspondence to Peg Nelson Bander, MSN, NP, ACHPN, FPCN, St Joseph Mercy Oakland, 44405 Woodward Ave, Pontiac, MI 48341 (

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2017 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.