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Ethics And Morality Of Euthanasia Essay

2233 words - 9 pages

Outline I. Introduction II. Euthanasia III. Patients Right to Die IV. Legal Issues With Euthanasia V. Nursing Attitudes Toward Euthanasia VI. Contributing Factors for Nurses VII. Conclusion Ethics and Morality of Euthanasia Luke Westphal NSG 316 H003 February 24, 2007 The role of a healthcare professional is a very trying role. Nurses and doctors alike are faced with difficult decisions everyday that interfere with their own personal beliefs and values. It is times like these that they have to put their own beliefs aside and have to follow the wishes of their patients, and sometimes this could mean life or death for their client. In these situations, the question is asked; what is more important, the rights and needs of the patient, or the law that is supposed to protect them. Euthanasia is a very tough subject to approach, and like all tough subjects, there is a light and dark side to it. It can be a very helpful tool for those patients that are in unbearable pain or other special situations that make them feel that they can no longer go on living, but it also tears families apart and sends some healthcare professionals to prison.In Wikipedia, the free dictionary, euthanasia is defined as ?the practice of terminating the life of a person or animal in a painless or minimally painful way in order to stop suffering or other undesired conditions in life.? Euthanasia is also sometimes referred to as mercy killing or assisted suicide and it is a practice that occurs all around the world in secret as well as in the public eye. In the healthcare field, euthanasia might be carried out by a physician or a nurse and could be anything from giving a lethal dosage of medicine to simply not resuscitating a client that is ?coding? or ?flat lining.? The nurse is a healthcare professional who is dedicated to taking care of their patients and doing what is in their patients best interest, but could letting their client die really be in their best interest? In a situation like this, the nurse needs to know what rights the patient has to exercise on behalf of their own health care.In 1973, the American Hospital Association developed the Patient?s Bill of Rights. These are guidelines that healthcare professionals are expected to follow to ensure the respect and integrity of their patients. Under these guidelines it is stated that: The patient has the right to make decisions about the plan of care before and during the course of treatment and to refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care if it is permitted by law and hospital policy. The patient also has the right to be informed of the medical consequences of this action. In case of such refusal, the patient is still entitled to appropriate care and services that the hospital provides or to be transferred to another hospital. The hospital should notify patients of any policy at the other hospital that might affect patient choice.In compliance with this right, when a patient is admitted into a healthcare facility,...

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