“Hard Choice for a Comfortable Death: Sedation” (NYT)

The New York Times (nytimes.org) seems to have a new series called “Months to Live,” where it address end-of-life issues.  An article for tomorrow’s paper is the first I’ve seen on the topic of sedating someone near death in the hopes that they die while sleeping.  We had one support group member who instructed both hospice and her husband to provide extensive sedation to her, and even spelled out what medication she wanted to be given (phenobarbitol and morphine).

I looked into this topic a couple of years ago as we were preparing for my father to be removed from a ventilator and feeding tube.  (Very fortunately for our family, Dad gave us the ultimate gift and died of a heart attack before we removed life support.)

Besides these two group member stories, I know little on this topic so was very interested in today’s article.  You can find the article here:


Months to Live
Hard Choice for a Comfortable Death: Sedation
New York Times
By Anemona Hartocollis
December 27, 2009

This is a tough subject for many.