Role Of Ppas In Patient Assisted Suicide

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The Nurses Role in Patient Assisted Suicide
Michelle Walters
October 22, 2016
Meredith Roberts

Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is the provision of a means, by a physician, for a patient to end his or her own life (Altmann, T.,& Collins, S. 2007). The ethics and legality of PAS has been a hot button topic for hundreds of years. There are arguments for both sides, there are currently 5 states who have death with dignity laws in place. According to (Altmann, T.,& Collins, S. 2007) 80% of Americans die while being cared for in a healthcare facility, so even though the nurse may be against PAS they will most likely be involved on some level. The likely hood of a nurse encountering a patient considering PAS is high so he
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I do not believe that there will ever be a day when everyone agrees on this topic. The American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and the International Council of Nursing both object. They feel that it qualifies as abandonment (Altmann, T & Collins,S., 2007). This creates a real hardship for a nurse working in a State where PAS is legal. Thankfully, there are laws in place to protect nurses and allow them to refuse to partake in PAS if it goes against their beliefs. There are also nurses that believe PAS can decrease suffering and provide dignity to a dying patient (Altmann, T & Collins,S., 2007).
In conclusion, there is a lot of controversy and arguments that surround PAS. Nurses play a key role in educating the patient on their choices, and the laws and requirements that accompany them. The nurse may not always agree with their patient’s choices, but they can make sure they have all the information required to help them make the right decision for themselves. Respect does not always mean agreement, most Americans feel that their end of life choices should be theirs, and not the governments or medical professionals (Altmann, T & Collins,S., 2007). This fact leads me to believe that more states will follow in passing laws legalizing PAS and that means that nurses have to be up to date on what is going on in their states. They should ask themselves how they feel about PAS and if they could be involved in the

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