Are You Sleeping? Palliative Sedation for Relief of Refractory Symptoms in Terminally Ill Patients

Planned in cooperation with the ASHP Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners

ACPE Activity Number: 0204-0000-19-012-H04-P
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Expiration Date: May 21, 2022
Activity Type: Knowledge-based  
CE Credits: 1.0 hour, no partial credit
Activity Fee: Members – Free / Non-Member – Not Available  

This activity is a recording from a live webinar and those that claim credit for the live webinar should not claim credit for this activity.

Activity Overview

This activity will focus on the difference between palliative sedation, medical aid in dying, and euthanasia as end-of-life care options for the management of refractory symptoms in patients with terminal illness. Understanding the difference in these terms is important in providing optimal patient education and care in this setting.  Speakers will review medications used to deliver sedation as well as the practical and ethical considerations involved.  We will also provide recommendations on how to support families and healthcare providers participating in the care of these patients.   


The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Target Audience

This continuing pharmacy education activity is designed for health-system pharmacists caring for terminally ill patients who are involved in the clinical care or with policy and protocol development for palliative sedation.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the differences between palliative sedation, medical aid in dying, and euthanasia
  • Describe legal, ethical, and professional considerations for pharmacists
  • Describe a pharmacologic regimen for palliative sedation
  • List strategies to support professionals through loss and grief in the course of providing patient care.

Schedule of Activities

  • Discuss differences between palliative sedation, medical aid in dying, and euthanasia as end-of-life care options.
  • Provide recommendations in supporting families and healthcare providers.


  • Jennifer Ku, Pharm.D., BCPS, PGY2 Pain and Palliative Care Resident, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, Iowa City, IA
  • Tanya Uritsky, Pharm.D., BCPS, CPE, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Pain Medication Stewardship, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Traci White, Pharm.D., PhC, BCGP, Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, Las Cruces, NM


In accordance with the ACPE's and ACCME's Standards for Commercial Support, anyone in a position to control the content of an educational activity is required to disclose to the accredited provider their relevant financial relationships. In accordance with these Standards, all potential conflicts of interest have been resolved. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if he or she (or spouse/domestic partner) has a financial relationship in any amount occurring in the last 12 months with a commercial interest whose products or services are discussed in the activity content over which the individual has control.

As defined by ACCME, a commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The Standards for Commercial Support do not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests. The existence or non-existence of relevant financial relationships will be disclosed to the activity audience. All identified conflicts of interest must be resolved prior to the activity.

  • All planners, presenters, reviewers, and ASHP staff report no financial relationships relevant to this activity.

Methods and CE Requirements

This activity consists of a recordings of faculty slides presentations, active learning activities, discussion, and handouts. Participants must participate in the activity in its entirety to claim continuing pharmacy education credit online at ASHP eLearning Portal. Follow the prompts online to complete the evaluation, claim credit and view the statement of credit immediately after completing the activity.

Per ACPE requirements, CPE credit must be claimed within 60 days of being earned. Claim your CE at Once you have processed and claimed your CE credit, we encourage you to check your NABP eProfile account to verify your credits were transferred successfully before the ACPE 60-day deadline. It is an electronic direct-report process so your credits should appear in your account within a few minutes. After the 60 day deadline, ASHP will no longer be able to report your credit(s) for this activity.