You were talking about palliative sedation, not palliative care. Don’t conflate the two; if I were to make the same mistake that you just did someone might die prematurely and I would not work in medicine again.
Honestly, for someone that is so condescending to others when they make what you perceive to be the slightest mistake in terminology, or in reading your posts, you have an uncanny knack for talking about things in a dangerously sloppy manner.
In this thread you mentioned that you have seen well researched articles about morphine use in terminally ill patients, and then rather than link to an actual medical journal article discussing the use of morphine in palliative care, you link to a newspaper article from the New York Times that is nearly a decade old?
To answer the OP, morphine in palliative care has many uses. It can be used to ease pain and discomfort and to slow breathing and relieve “oxygen hunger” for those that are struggling to breathe. When someone is struggling to breathe it is like trying to breathe with towel over your face; this sensation can occur because of actual oxygen deprivation, like drowning or lung disease, the body’s inability to process the actual oxygen, or a disfunction in the body’s response to the dying process (“I’m shutting down, I must need more air to stay alive”). Morphine relieves this bodily response in apparently much the same way it relieves the pain response (pain and oxygen hunger appear to share similar neural pathways).
The doses of morphine typically used for palliative care (NOT palliative sedation) are very low and would not induce a coma-like state, but will slow breathing and relieve pain. Here is a good article on the subject:
What’s more, studies have shown that even palliative sedation doesn’t speed up death, though it does put the person into a sleep-like state:
That said, there is a difference between palliative care and palliative sedation, and I would be very, very hesitant to endorse the latter. The use of morphine is usually a matter of palliative care, however, so its important to know the specifics of the case.
EDIT: Just to be clear, medicating to help someone sleep is not the same as medicating to put someone to sleep. One is easing discomfort so that natural sleep is easier to attain (paliative care, including morphine to alleviate pain and oxygen hunger), the other is actively inducing sleep so that the person is not concious of their suffering (palliative sedation, which is usually induced through the use of benzodiazepines or surigical anesthetics). Morphine is used for palliative care to relieve pain which may help sleep, but not typically for palliative sedation, though it may be used along with a sleep-inducing drug in order to alleviate any pain that the patient might be experiencing during their induced sleep.