The Problem of Psychological Suffering
The term “symptom” conventionally connotes a physical malady, such as pain or dyspnea. However, it is acknowledged (Cherny 1994) that psychological symptoms like anxiety, panic and existential issues can also result in intractable suffering. Clinicians must be cognizant that suffering from existential anguish can be just as significant and distressful as refractory physical symptoms, thus endorsing consideration of palliative sedation in refractory cases (Rousseau 2000).
Palliative sedation for psychological or existential suffering is ethically and morally more problematic than is sedation for physical suffering.
Reasons for this is as follows: