Published on: December 23, 2009

Several years back, the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) had appointed an international panel of palliative care experts to formulate guidelines for palliative sedation.

The task force‟s recommendations were published (de Graeff A, Dean M. J.Palliat.Med.2007 Feb;10(1):67-85) but were not accepted by the EAPC.

Now the board of the EAPC has published not guidelines, but a framework.

You can find the framework (Nathan Cherny and Lukas Radbruch) and an accompanying editorial (Katherine Hauser and Declan Walsh) in Palliative Medicine 2009 23(7).

“Refractory symptoms” are a cause of immense suffering to the patient and family and of considerable stress to professionals and other carers.

Despite the controversy surrounding the issue, palliative sedation does offer an ethical choice to a large number of people.

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