EITHICAL DELIMAS IN NURSING
Shannon Blake, Sherri Dunn, Susan Brown, Tammie Hicks, Miriam Cook
Grand Canyon University Nrs-437
November 7, 2015
Nurses have been playing very important roles in the caring of patients throughout the continuum of life and at the end of life for years. It is the position of the ANA that participation of nurses in euthanasia is prohibited as those acts are in contradiction of the code of ethics for nurses. Nurses have a duty to provide humane, comprehensive and compassionate care in respect to the rights of patients, but maintain the standard of the profession in the presence of chronic, debilitating illness and at the end of ...view middle of the document...
Beneficence is the act of doing good for others, while non-maleficence refers to not doing harm to others. Respect for autonomy is allowing competent individuals to make decisions for themselves without any hindrances. There are four realms that can affect autonomy: i.e., not having the ability for one to control their desires, as in mental illness, deficit in an individual’s reasoning, as someone under the influence of drugs, inaccurate information available to the person upon which their decisions are made and incompetency in the stability of one’s own desires, i.e., narcissism, gluttony or vanity. When making legal judgment one has to be cognizant of the moral values and belief systems on which the society is based.
Controversy of voluntary/assisted Euthanasia has continued for many years. Physicians and Nurses take an oath “to do no harm”. According to the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses, “the art of nursing is based on a framework of caring and respect for human dignity” (Kalb & O’Conner-Von, 2007, p. 197). Nurses can affect the decisions a patient makes (Coventry, 2006). The nurse must recognize the personal limitations of patients.
Modern medicine is allowing patients to live longer even with a terminal illness, thus at times, prolonging suffering. It creates a problem for nurses. Some people feel that euthanasia assists people to die with dignity and not to suffer for an extended period of time. A nursing dilemma is whether stopping intensive medical treatment to allow for a natural death is preferred over other ways of dying.
It has been proven that there are at least five arguments with distinct support of utilization for sanctioning euthanasia. The first one would be that one’s autonomy validates euthanasia. The second is beneficence, promoting the well -being of the individual, supporting euthanasia. In support of the patient it would be hard to know how a chronically or terminally ill patient feels unless you have walked in their shoes, therefore how can one judge if euthanasia is the right thing for them. The third constitutes that euthanasia may be considered no different from terminating life-sustaining treatments, which is considered as ethically justified. The fourth would be called “slippery slope” which implies that most people have a negative connation associated to euthanasia. The last and fifth argument concerns physicians. When surveyed, even in countries where euthanasia is illegal, they admit to hastily carry out or participate in the request for euthanasia (Emanuel, 2015).
On the other hand opposing euthanasia, autonomy does not justify euthanasia, one of the reasons being that it is a self-centered decision. The second is the principle of beneficence does not necessarily mean that euthanasia are acceptable as a means of improving well-being. The third distinction between intentionally ending a life and terminating life-sustaining treatment is reasonable and accurate. The fourth principle is...