When terminally ill patients are nearing death, the focus of care often changes from prolonging life to trying to make patients comfortable. As patients near death, they often have symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, agitation, and anxiety. They also often become unable to eat and drink on their own. Sometimes, the only way to feed and hydrate such patients is through tubes placed in their veins or in their stomachs. Some patients and families prefer to stop nutrition and hydration rather than resort to these measures. Administration of sedating medications while stopping nutrition and hydration is called terminal sedation. Terminal sedation is an option for care of patients who are nearing death. Sedation relieves symptoms. Stopping hydration and nutrition may speed the time to death. Much controversy exists over the ethics of this practice in the United States. However, little is known about physicians' experience with terminal sedation.