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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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TWILIGHT SLEEP

A state in which awareness of pain is dulled and memory of pain is dimmed or effaced; it is produced by hypodermic injection of certain drugs. It is used chiefly in childbirth. From a moral viewpoint, twilight sleep should not be used in cases of ordinary childbirth because it creates some danger of harming the offspring. This danger is slight, however, so that twilight sleep may be resorted to in order to alleviate pains that are extreme or for some other sufficient reason, for example to facilitate the handling of a difficult delivery.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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