Date of Publication

9-16-2020

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Lowey, PhD, RN, CHPN, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing

Abstract

Terminal illness and the concept of death and dying are sensitive topics, especially when relating them to the people we hold near and dear. Unfortunately, along with the end of life comes an unsurmountable amount of pain and suffering for people facing serious illness. For patients with a terminal illness, palliative and hospice care treatment measures are implemented to manage symptoms, provide peace, and enhance the quality of the final days of life. Palliative sedation is one of these measures. It will be explored in depth in order to gain a greater understanding of the treatment options available during this point in life. A review of the literature was performed to retrieve peer reviewed scientific research articles that focused on the use and effects of palliative sedation in persons nearing the end of life. Twenty articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Using the ethical principles as a conceptual guide, the benefits and risks associated with the implementation of palliative sedation were evaluated and discussed. Nurses who provide care to terminally ill patients should be educated about the use of palliative sedation as a viable option for management of refractory symptoms and existential suffering in patients at the end of life.

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