Clinicians’ views on palliative sedation for existential suffering: A systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies (pp. 31-40)
Authors: Michael Lam, Helen R Lam, Arnav Agarwal, Ronald Chow, Selina Chow, Edward Chow, Christina De Longhi, and Blair Henry
Abstract: This article systematically reviews the literature on the views of clinicians in regards to palliative sedation for predominantly existential suffering in terminally ill patients. A literature search was performed in multiple databases with primary studies including interviews, surveys and focus groups identified and analyzed using a thematic synthesis approach. At the time of this study, the literature clearly indicates that most clinicians do not favour palliative sedation for mainly existential suffering. Clinicians who are willing to consider existential suffering as part of a refractory state at end-of-life require that intractable physical symptoms and a short life expectancy coexist in order to justify palliative sedation.