Many people are concerned about morphine’s use in palliative care. Morphine and other morphine-related medicines, such as hydromorphone, codeine, and fentanyl, are classified as opioids. These drugs may be used to alleviate pain or shortness of breath during an illness or at the end of life. Patients and relatives are sometimes concerned that painkillers would hasten death. Is morphine used in hospice care?


Morphine is occasionally utilized when a person’s condition is deteriorating and he or she is in the advanced stages of the disease. If the patient is in moderate to severe pain or has shortness of breath, his or her doctor will most likely prescribe morphine. This opioid aids in the person’s comfort throughout the sickness and till death. With or without the morphine, the person declines due to the sickness. There is always a “last dose” when a patient receives regular pain medicine, such as morphine, in the final hours or days of life. To family members at the bedside, the medicine may appear to have caused or contributed to the death, especially if death comes within a few minutes. However, this dose does not result in the person’s death. It is just the last medication administered in the minutes or hours before death occurs naturally. Oasis Hospice is the best-assisted living hospice for your loved ones.

Morphine and other opioids are not known to play a role in the death of a person with a terminal illness. The following details explain why:

An article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2010 examined the appropriate use of opioids (like morphine). They discovered that opioids did not result in respiratory depression.

This was based on a thorough review of available research. In other words, no statistically significant association was discovered between the following:

The largest study of hospice patients in North America was among the numerous research examined. As a result, no significant relationship between increased morphine dosage and death was discovered. Even double doses of short-acting morphine did not enhance the risk of death. Morphin increases a patient’s quality of life when used correctly. It can also boost hunger, strength, and activity when used correctly. Controlling pain also enhances social relations by putting patients in a better mood.

Adequate pain management also includes:

Last Thoughts

To summarize, morphine is a safe and effective medicine that is frequently used in hospice care. When used correctly, it can alleviate a patient’s discomfort while also providing comfort and dignity. It is critical to be educated on the usage of morphine rather than spreading misinformation. Read our another article about is hopsice only for end of life? Oasis Hospice is the best hospice for veterans. You can contact us anytime at 708-564-4838.

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