Health Jul 02

A United HomeCare Services home health aide massages the fingers of a patient during a home visit. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Does palliative sedation ease suffering during end-of-life care?

While aid-in-dying, or “death with dignity,” is now legal in seven states and Washington, D.C., medically assisted suicide retains tough opposition. Palliative sedation, though, has been administered since the hospice care movement began in the 1960s and is legal everywhere.

Modern medicine has a fundamental failure in its approach toward aging and dying, says Dr. Atul Gawande: “We don't recognize that people have priorities besides just living longer.” Gawande, a surgeon and the author of a new book, "Being Mortal:…