The Proportionate Value of Proportionality in Palliative Sedation

Jeffrey T. Berger    

The Journal of Clinical Ethics 25, no. 3 (Fall 2014): 219-21.



     Proportionality, as it pertains to palliative sedation, is the notion that sedation should be induced at the lowest degree effective for symptom control, so that the patientís consciousness may be preserved. The pursuit of proportionality in palliative sedation is a widely accepted imperative advocated in position statements and guidelines on this treatment. The priority assigned to the pursuit of proportionality, and the extent to which it is relevant for patients who qualify for palliative sedation, have been overstated.


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