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The Patient's Wish to DieResearch, Ethics, and Palliative Care$
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Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Heike Gudat, and Kathrin Ohnsorge

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713982.001.0001

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Concluding dialogue

Concluding dialogue

(p.245) Chapter 22 Concluding dialogue
The Patient's Wish to Die

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter

Heike Gudat

Kathrin Ohnsorge

Oxford University Press

This dialogue tackles two questions. First, should patients be informed in advance about the possibility of palliative sedation until death? There is agreement here that patients should be informed when the possibility of sedation can be foreseen. Sedation should not be introduced negatively as an ‘ultima ratio’ but as a treatment option that palliative care can provide. Secondly, how should we deal with patients who might be so changed through the experience of illness as to lose their sense of continuity of the self? While one side underlines that it is important to be alert to ‘disrupted continuity’ when talking to patients, another side emphasizes the importance of not imposing meaning on patients at the end of their life but being aware of patients’ own resilience in finding a meaning for themselves. A further viewpoint here argues that the medical profession might need to assist patients in their attempts to rediscover who they are.

Keywords:   palliative sedation, palliative care, disrupted continuity, experience of illness

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