Healthcare Policy

Healthcare Policy 18(4) May 2023 : 143-148.doi:10.12927/hcpol.2023.27047
Discussion and Debate

Commentary: Access to Psychedelics for Psychological Suffering at the End of Life – Prioritizing Our Priorities

Daniel Rosenbaum, Sarah Hales and Daniel Z. Buchman


We agree with Kratina et al. (2023) that the problem of psychological suffering at the end of life deserves attention from a policy standpoint and that psychedelic therapies show promise in this clinical context. However, we argue the following in this rejoinder: (1) disproportionate attention to psychedelics may overstate the current evidence base, potentially diverting resources away from existing evidence-based programs; (2) a more pressing policy priority related to this public health problem is to address population-level inequities in accessing high-quality, early and holistic palliative care, including psychosocial care; and (3) discussions about expanded access to psychedelics must also foreground equity issues.



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