This presentation introduces the intricate connection between the mission of palliative care—alleviating suffering—and the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances. Psychedelics have the unique property of bringing neurology, biology, psychology, and spirituality into one experience that can be used therapeutically in patients with serious illness.

The presenter, Lou Lukas, MD, will provide an overview of the major substances under investigation, review transdiagnostic mechanisms contributing to psycho-spiritual suffering, and then present the results of recent studies of psychedelics in palliative populations. The presentation will conclude by asking specific questions of leaders and clinicians in the field: How do we prepare for the potential benefits and risks of these novel agents in anticipation of FDA approval? And how do we prepare for the subsequent integration of psychedelic agents into clinical care?

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