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Call for papers - Palliative sedation

Guest Editors

Carsten Klein, Dr med, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany
Sheila Payne, BA(hons), PhD, DipN, RGN, CPsychol, Lancaster University, UK
Lenzo Robijn, PhD, Ghent University, Belgium 
Séverine Marie Surges, Dr med, University Hospital Bonn, Germany 

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 20 March 2025

This Collection seeks to gather research on palliative sedation, addressing its ethical, clinical, and interpersonal dimensions. BMC Palliative Care invites submissions that explore the complexities of palliative sedation, including ethical considerations, clinical guidelines, and the perspectives of patients, families, and healthcare professionals. In doing so, we aim to advance our understanding of palliative sedation and its role in providing compassionate end-of-life care.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Carsten Klein, Dr med, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany

Dr Carsten Klein is a senior physician in palliative medicine at Erlangen University Hospital, specializing in anaesthesiology and palliative care. His research focuses on sedation in palliative care and the integration of new technologies in medical education. He is a member of the local ethics committee and has also worked as a reviewer for various medical journals.

Sheila Payne, BA(hons), PhD, DipN, RGN, CPsychol, Lancaster University, UK

Prof Sheila Payne is a health psychologist with a background in nursing. She holds an Emeritus Chair at the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster University. She was President of the European Association of Palliative Care (2011–2015) and awarded the inaugural EAPC/Cecily Saunders Foundation Life-time Achievement Award in October 2020.  Her research focuses on palliative and end-of-life care for older people and the organization of palliative care services, including two international studies about palliative sedation: the UNBIASED study and Palliative Sedation. She has supervised over 40 PhD students. She has published widely in academic and professional journals.

Lenzo Robijn, PhD, Ghent University, Belgium

Dr Lenzo Robijn is a social worker and medical sociologist. He obtained his PhD in Social Health Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University. His research focused on monitoring continuous sedation until death in daily clinical practice and developing a practice protocol adapted to the specific needs within nursing homes. Currently, he is developing an international Core Outcome Set (COS) to evaluate and enhance palliative sedation in clinical research and practice. Dr Robijn's research interests include applying systems thinking in healthcare organizations, particularly in palliative care research.

Séverine Marie Surges, Dr med, University Hospital Bonn, Germany

Dr Séverine Marie Surges is a palliative care physician and researcher at the Department of Palliative Medicine at Bonn University Hospital in Germany. She is involved in the European research project Palliative Sedation (PallSed), funded by the European Union (Horizon 2020 programme), and has contributed to the review of the European guidelines on palliative sedation and the revision and update of the 2009 EAPC framework on palliative sedation.

About the Collection

Palliative sedation, a medical procedure involving the administration of sedative medications, is geared towards patients with life-limiting diseases and refractory suffering that cannot be helped with other treatments. It is a practice that has been a topic of ongoing research and debate as it raises complex ethical, legal, and clinical considerations—it involves balancing the relief of suffering and implications with the potential risks and implications of sedation at the end of life. 

Understanding the nuances of palliative sedation is crucial for healthcare providers, policymakers, and researchers to navigate the challenges associated with this practice and ensure that patients receive optimal end-of-life therapy while upholding ethical standards and patient autonomy. Recent advances in this area have focused on clarifying the criteria for initiating and managing palliative sedation, as well as exploring the experiences and perspectives of patients, families, and healthcare professionals involved.

In light of these ongoing difficulties, BMC Palliative Care is launching this Collection on Palliative sedation. We invite contributions on topics such as:

  • Ethical considerations in palliative sedation and their potential regional variation 
  • Use of deep, continuous sedation at the end of life
  • Use of intermittent or light palliative sedation to alleviate suffering
  • Clinical guidelines, their regional variations, and current gaps in palliative sedation
  • Patient and family perspectives on palliative sedation
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to palliative sedation
  • Optimal pharmacological agents and protocols 
  • Use of palliative sedation as suffering management
  • Quality indicators and outcomes in palliative sedation

Image credit: © FG Trade / Getty Images / iStock

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select Palliative sedation from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.