Ethical issues around continuous deep sedation without hydration

Nurs Times. 2012 Sep 18-24;108(38):22-5.

Abstract

By reviewing the literature on the subject, this article examines whether continuous deep sedation without hydration--in the context of palliative care for patients with advanced cancer at the end of life--could be seen as a moral and clinical equivalent of so-called "slow euthanasia". It focuses on length of survival, fluid retention and thirst, and reviews the evidence and lack of it that supports or questions the practice of withholding parenteral fluids at the sedated and palliated end of life.

MeSH terms

  • Deep Sedation*
  • Ethics*
  • Fluid Therapy*
  • Humans
  • United Kingdom