Ethical Dilemma And Assisted Suicide

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Register to read the introduction… 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 allowed for owners and vets to euthanize animals in order to save them from suffering, it is seen as positive decisions where there are no treatments or hope left and the animal is in pain. The putting down of a suffering animal that will not recover is seen as humane. However, the same is not applied to humans. Therefore the first two ethical considerations may be the respect for patient wishes and the differentiation in treatment of humans and …show more content…
Identify and explain at least three legal considerations. From a legal perspective, the nurse’s position is very clear, it is illegal to take part in an assisted suicide, and this includes either giving the drugs or helping the patient to take the drugs. If a nurse takes part in an assisted suicide, she is likely to face criminal charges; a defense that the nurse was respecting patient wishes would not be accepted. However, in the case given where a cancer patient is declining rapidly and the nurse states that she is considering giving the patient an additional amount of narcotics which could end the patient’s life. There is insufficient amount of detail to assume that the patient has asked for the drugs, or will ask for the drugs with the intention of ending her life. If the patient has not asked for the drugs and the nurse is simply making the assumption there is a potential for further criminal charges; the nurse does not have the right to make this decision. It is also possible that the additional narcotics may be given, not with the intention of ending life, but treating pain, with the nurse being aware of death as a potential side effect. If this is the case, as seen in the patient’s charter, the patient has the right to full information, including the risk of death. However, where given, in response to the request for more aggressive pain treatment, and with the patient having full knowledge, the nurse is not acting …show more content…
The first consideration is the potential impact that the nurse helping with an assisted suicide may have in terms of publicity. Stories of this nature, where a nurse who is seen as a caring and trusted person is seen to be charged with murder, even if it was an assisted suicide, are likely to attract a high level of publicity. This is unlikely to reflect well on the center; patients may become concerned that they become victims, and may move their treatment elsewhere. Bad publicity may also impact on the hospital ability to attract and keep staff; bad publicity would be bad for

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