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Distinction between euthanasia and palliative sedation is clear-cut

Abstract

This article is a response to Thomas David Riisfeldt’s paper entitled ‘Weakening the ethical distinction between euthanasia, palliative opioid use and palliative sedation’. It is shown that as far as euthanasia and palliative sedation are concerned, Riisfeldt has not established that a common ground, or a similarity, between the two is the relief of suffering. Quite the contrary, this is not characteristic of euthanasia, neither by definition nor from a clinical point of view. Hence, the argument hinges on a conceptually and empirically erroneous premise and is accordingly a non-starter.

  • care of the dying patient
  • end of life care
  • ethics
  • euthanasia
  • palliative care
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