The Potential of Psychedelics for End of Life and Palliative Care

Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2022;56:169-184. doi: 10.1007/7854_2021_278.

Abstract

End of life and palliative care has improved in recent decades but the psychopharmacological options available to clinicians and patients in these contexts remain limited. In particular, psychological factors such as depression, existential distress, and well-being remain challenging to address with current medications. Here, we review recent research on the use of psychedelics in clinical settings with a particular focus on patients with life-threatening diagnoses. We propose that psychedelics may provide clinicians with an additional psychopharmacological treatment in the context of end of life and palliative care.

Keywords: End of Life; Palliative care; Psilocybin; Psychedelics; Psychiatry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Death
  • Hallucinogens* / pharmacology
  • Hallucinogens* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care

Substances

  • Hallucinogens