Ethics of Continuous Deep Sedation in Care for Patients with Terminal Illness

Pittsburgh, PA US
March 9, 2023

Palliative sedation therapy is undertaken when other methods of relieving patient suffering at the end of life have failed. If symptoms such as pain, dyspnea, and agitated delirium cannot be managed with the conventional range of palliative resources, a patient is put into a state of reduced consciousness so that the patient is no longer aware of the symptoms. This session will examine some key ethical questions that arise from the use of palliative sedation therapy in terminally ill patients, with a particular focus on continuous deep sedation.

Target Audience

ISD RNs / SW / Health Coaches / Paramedics / EMTs 

Learning Objectives

1.   Explore the nature of continuous deep sedation and how it is related both to palliative sedation therapy more generally and to euthanasia.

2.   Examine the main ethical problems that have traditionally arisen for continuous deep sedation.

3.   Discuss and consider the proposal that continuous deep sedation be treated as a “third way” of intervening at the end of life, distinct from both ordinary palliative care and euthanasia.

4.   Discuss how this revised account of continuous deep sedation affects the ethics of the practice.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 1.00 ASWB
  • 1.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
03/09/2023 - 1:00pm EST
Event ends: 
03/09/2023 - 2:00pm EST

Program begins at 1:00pm and ends at  2:00p,.  Total Education Time = 1 Hour(s)




1:00-1:10 pm

Discuss continuous deep sedation and how it relates to palliative sedation therapy and euthanasia

Steven Farrelly-Jackson

1:10-1:20 pm

Problems that arise from continuous deep sedation

Steven Farrelly-Jackson

1:20-1:35 pm

Discuss proposal “third way” intervention at end of life;  distinct from ordinary palliative care and euthanasia

Steven Farrelly-Jackson

1:35-1:50 pm

Discuss how deep sedation affects the ethics of practice

Steven Farrelly-Jackson

1:50-2:00 pm

Case Discuss

Steven Farrelly-Jackson

UPMC Health Pan
600 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
United States
Steven Farrelly-Jackson, DPhil
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies & Global Health Studies Allegheny College

Steven Farrelly-Jackson, PhD, is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies & Global Health Studies at Allegheny College where he teaches medical ethics, medical humanities, global health and several courses in philosophy. He received his B.A. Honors from the University of Cape Town and his PhD from Oxford University. His main academic interests include medical ethics, global health ethics, and philosophy of literature. Related to health care, Dr. Farrelly-Jackson coordinates and teaches in a joint program in Community Healthcare between Allegheny College and the Community Care Network of the Meadville Medical Center.

In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Nursing (CNE)
The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is XX contact hour(s).

CCM CE will be provided:  1 CE - CCM COA will be sent via email from UPMC Health Plan nurse planner approximately 6-8 weeks following the live date of the course.

This activity is eligible for endorsed credit for UPMC Health Plan EMTs and Paramedics.  Complete ETHOS course work, obtain the attendance certificate, and submit to EMS governing body for 1 CE credit(s).

As a Jointly Accredited Organization, University of Pittsburgh is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. University of Pittsburgh maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 1 continuing education credit(s).

Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity.

NOTE:  Paramedic/EMT CE is approved for any activity in which ANCC (nursing CE) is approved.  This is per Heather Bogdon and Christie Hempfling

Available Credit

  • 1.00 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 1.00 ASWB
  • 1.00 Attendance
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