Use of oxygen at the end of life: on what basis are decisions made?

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2012 Aug;18(8):369-70, 372. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2012.18.8.369.


Discussing and conducting research on end-of-life issues is often difficult. However, it is important to initiate a dialogue about various topics surrounding death and dying. This paper looks at the available scientific literature relating to oxygen use at the end of life, describes associated attitudes and beliefs, and presents some brief examples of institutional practices. The aim is to stimulate thoughtful reflection and encourage research on this important topic. There is limited research regarding oxygen use at the end of life, and many questions remain. Despite the difficulty with research in this area, there is a need to expand the data and awareness in this field. Several authors have questioned the use of oxygen in end-of-life care, and the evidence that oxygen use may not always be indicated is growing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Death
  • Decision Making
  • Dyspnea / nursing*
  • Dyspnea / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage*
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Terminal Care / methods*


  • Oxygen