Essay about Assisted Suicide

1607 Words Apr 19th, 2012 7 Pages
Name: Alhassan Kamara STUDENT ID: 200016162 Course: HSA 515 (Health care, Policy, Law, and Ethics) Instructor: Dr. Harold Griffin Due date: 03/11/2012

In this paper, I am taking on the role of manager of a cancer center in a small, suburban hospital. I am dealing with a lot. The nursing staff has expressed burn out because of an increase of terminal cancer patients. In one extreme case, Nurse Nancy feeling empathy for a rapid decline in one of the patient’s health (a 30 year old single mother), want to give an extra dose of narcotic drugs that could potentially end the patient’s life, and what Nurse Nancy perceives as her suffering.
Q1. Explain how the Patient Bill of Rights applies to this case. The
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However, when looking at a potential scenario where a patient seeks the provision of narcotic drugs with the intention of ending their lives the nurse would be acting illegally providing them. However, it is also worth noting that the patient does have the right to seek aggressive pain management treatment when they are in pain, this can include strong narcotics where there is a potential that the use of the narcotics may shorten the life of the patient (White, 2004). In this later case, early death is a side effect of the treatment, and not a suicide attempt. Therefore, the patient bill of rights does not give any right to the patient regarding assisted suicide.
Q2. Identify and explain at least three ethical considerations. There are a number of ethical considerations when assessing the scenario and assisted suicide in general. The patient has the right to autonomy, so it may be argued that if the patient is fully competent and suffering significantly, that making a choice to die in order to end that suffering is a valid choice. The patient bill of rights, as well as general medical practice, emphasizes the rights of the patients to play an active role in their treatment. To deny them this choice may be argued as undermining the principle of autonomy (White, 2004). This argument can be taken further with the commonly cited example of vetenarian practices; where it is only

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