It is the principle of conduct which requires us (healthcare workers) to act in a way that benefits others (patients) by preventing or removing harm, or more directly acting to produce a good
Due to the nature of the job, it can be said that nurses often have to deal with the situtaion of ethical dilemas. Because we live in a culturaly diverse society, our values are not necessarily the same. This often gives the leeway for ethical dilemas such as, whether euthanasia and assisted suicide are moraly right or wrong. Euthanasia is defined as "a deliberate intervention or omission with the express intention of hastening or ending an individual's life, to relieve intractable pain or suffering" (Sanders, 2007). Assisted suicide refers to making available to an individual the means (for example, pills or a weapon) to take his or her own life” (Michele, 2004). Euthanasia and assisted suicide are argued to be done to relieve a patient from pain and suffering, however that can be countered. It is important for one to consider the reasoning behind why people ask for euthanasia or assisted suicide. In the case of Mr. Maxwell, who is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis for more than 10 years and is requesting for euthanasia. Morally, I do not support his request to remove his ventilator because it is unethical. This paper focuses on why euthanasia and assisted suicide are wrong from the perspective of autonomy, nonmaleficence and rule-utilitarianism. Very good
Autonomy is usually used to justify the act of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Autonomy is said to be the right to self-government. "Within the contexts of moral and bioethical philosophy it is the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision (Haigh, 2009). Using autonomy to support the euthanasia and assisted suicide can be problematic. It is easy to say that one is respecting the patient’s autonomy in respecting the patient's wish to die, so as to relieve them of their pain and suffering. However it is important to understand that in as much as the patient’s autonomy is important and should be respected, the nurse’s autonomy is equally as important and should be respected as well. According to Beech, in order for full respect of autonomy to take place, nurses as well as patients must be allowed an equal opportunity to exercise their autonomy. A nurse’s autonomy may be violated by the act of assisted suicide on the basis of respect for a patient’s autonomy (Quaghebeur, 2009). Furthermore, assisted suicide does not really administer justice to the autonomy of the patient, because once assisted suicide is completed, the patient no longer enjoys his or her autonomy (Quaghebeur, 2009). Euthanasia gives a connotation of an escape in which pain is alleviated by eliminating the patient; this therefore illustrates the inability to deal with death. (Quaghebeur, 2009)
According to McCabe, respect for a patient’s autonomy as a justification of assisted...