Sedation in the Imminently Dying Patient
April 01, 2000
Over the past decade, increased attention has focused on the care of dying patients. The role of the physician in caring for these patients has been the subject of renewed interest and intense, sometimes passionate, debate. Patient groups have formed to advocate for the promotion of compassion in the care of the dying, and some of these advocacy groups have asserted a fundamental “right” to physician-assisted suicide. The US Supreme Court has ruled against a constitutional right to physician-assisted suicide but has asserted its willingness to reconsider the issue if it learned that dying patients were not receiving appropriate, high-quality end-of-life care.