From anxiolysis to deep continuous sedation

Palliative Medicine

Head of Department:
Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Ostgathe

From anxiolysis to deep continuous sedation - the development of a recommendation for sedation in specialized palliative care (SedPall)

The discussion on sedation in specialized palliative care in Germany and other countries has so far lacked a framework that differentiates between the various forms of sedation, taking into account clinically, ethically and legally relevant aspects. There is also a lack of data on clinical aspects of sedation practice and the experiences and assessments of different institutional representatives involved in decisions regarding sedation. Reliable empirical data with a detailed analysis of ethical and legal challenges are necessary, as well as an approach involving representatives of relevant professional groups (such as nurses and physicians) to develop conceptual and empirically substantiated recommendations for good practice in different forms of sedation in Germany.

In order to address the deficits of sedation in the specialized palliative care in Germany, the consortium sets five main goals in its Project:

1. Development of conceptual and empirically substantiated terminology to distinguish different forms of sedation in specialized palliative care in Germany.

2. A detailed overview and description of the practice of sedation in inpatient and outpatient specialized palliative care.

3. A depth analysis of experiences and perspectives of stakeholders affected by and involved in sedation decisions in the specialized palliative care in Germany.

4. A systematic analysis of clinically, ethically and legally relevant aspects of a good sedation practice.

5. Conceptually and empirically justified recommendations for different forms of sedation in the inpatient and outpatient specialized palliative care as a summary of the four main goals that are named above.

The joint project is funded by the BMBF.

Research Associate (coordination): Sandra Kurkowski
Physician: Jorge Torres

Further members of the project team are:

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)/ Lehrstuhl für Medizinstrafrecht

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München/ Lehrstuhl für Palliativmedizin

Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin Halle