Voluntary euthanasia is defined as the act of killing someone painlessly, especially to relieve suffering from an incurable illness, with their consent (Collins English Dictionary, 2013). The morality and legal aspect of voluntary euthanasia has been a debate for many years. Voluntary euthanasia is a significant ethical dilemma that impacts nursing practice and other professionals in the healthcare field. With the utilization of ethical principles and theories, voluntary euthanasia can be deemed appropriate in some situations, but still can be a moral dilemma to those involved. This paper will discuss four people’s opinions about euthanasia that come from four different backgrounds as well as the group’s opinion about euthanasia.
The first interview that was conducted was with a hospital administrator who was over Baptist Healthcare. He was asked about “what would influence his position regarding euthanasia.” He said that he is against euthanasia as he sees it from the Christian point of view. He said that life is sacred, and as a healthcare administrator his business and the philosophy of healthcare is to assist with lifesaving methods, not assist with death. In his hospital he would never allow assisted suicide as it goes against his hospitals mission statement. He said that Baptist Hospital’s mission statement is as follows: to provide superior service based on Christian values to improve the quality of life for people and communities served. He went on to say that the Bible states that “Thou shalt not kill,” which is what he believes, so he would not allow this. He went on to say that he is aware that it is not legal in the state of Florida, so he is happy that it is probable not a situation that he will need to address in the near future at his hospital.
Another interview was with a Registered Respiratory Therapist who has practiced in healthcare for 30 years and works with the Neonatal/Pediatric Transport team. He was asked what his belief and position was on assisted/voluntary euthanasia. He stated that he believes that there are certain circumstances where assisted euthanasia is appropriate such as uncontrollable pain, terminal conditions and confirmed persistent vegetative state. His moral beliefs influence his position on assisted euthanasia despite it contradicting his religious beliefs. He stated that if he was in one of the above situations, he would not want to live in such a way. However, the hospital where he works is against assisted euthanasia. Despite what his personal beliefs and position are on assisted euthanasia, he stated that he would have to abide by the policies and procedures set forth by the hospital which employs him. He states that he has had multiple conversations with his family so they are aware of his wishes in regards to euthanasia.
A firefighter who is a friend was interviewed in regards to his thoughts and feelings about assisted euthanasia. He feels that if a patient is terminally ill or in a...