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Terminal sedation: an emotional decision in end-of-life care
  1. Simon Noah Etkind
  1. Correspondence to Dr Simon Noah Etkind, 10 Wyndham Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 1AF, UK; simon.etkind{at}

A patient with end-stage motor neurone disease was admitted for hospice care with worsening bulbar symptoms. Although he initially walked onto the ward he became very distressed and asked for sedation. After much discussion, this man was deeply sedated, and after some harrowing days, died. Was it right to provide terminal sedation? What should the threshold be for such treatment? How should our personal reservations affect how we approach the distressed patient in an end-of-life situation?

  • Attitudes towards death

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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