Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 3–5 | Cite as

An optimal design for the study of palliative sedation—making somewhat better pictures

  • Hong Yup Ahn
  • So Jung Park
  • Hee Kyung Ahn
  • In Cheol HwangEmail author

Palliative sedation refers to the use of sedatives to reduce the consciousness level of patients with the aim of relieving symptoms refractory to any other means of treatment [1]. Among the forms of palliative sedation, continuous deep sedation (CDS) is at the top of a debate concerning the possibility that the greatest effect of palliative sedation is the shortening of life [2]. CDS can trigger lethal pathophysiological cascades related to the pharmacological effects of high-dose sedatives on the respiratory and circulation system [3]. The clinical evidence currently available may set families and palliative care providers free of the guilty feelings associated with hastening a patient’s death [4]. In both ethics and practice, the clarification of whether a forced loss of consciousness curtails a patient’s survival is still of great value.

Inarguably, the actual effects of CDS on patient survival cannot be completely understood until randomized controlled trials are performed;...


Funding information

Dr. Hwang received a financial support from the Senior-Friendly Product R&D program funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (HI14C1435). The funder had no role in this work. HYA and SJP contributed equally to this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of StatisticsDongguk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Hospice and Palliative Care ServiceNational Cancer CenterGoyangRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Medical OncologyGachon University Gil Medical CenterIncheonRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Family MedicineGachon University Gil Medical CenterIncheonRepublic of Korea

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