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Running head: END OF LIFE DECISIONS1End of life decisionsKarol CozbyCapella UniversityPolicy, Law, Ethics and RegulationsBSN-FP4006April 21, 2018
END OF LIFE DECISIONS2End of life decisionsThrough the years, ideas of death and dying have changed. As recent as 100 years ago, people just accepted the idea that death was an inevitable result of illness and to survive a seriousillness was strictly luck. During the 20thcentury, improvements in living conditions, diagnostics, medications and treatments, life expectancy increased and ideas about death and dying swayed tothoughts of performing aggressive treatments in efforts to sustain life. However, it was soon realized that aggressive treatments could sometime be more harmful and even inhumane (Sopcheck, 2016, p. 33). Since that time policies and laws have been passed that require patient and families to be informed of the limitations of medical treatments, probable outcomes and allow more patient autonomy in the decision-making process related to end-of-life care (Bossaertet al., 2015, Section 11, p. 304).Nurses role in EOL Decision making Although it is preferable to begin EOL care decisions before the patient is too ill to participate, many times these decisions must be made by the family after the patient has begun the dying process. Nurses spend many hours at the bedside during the dying process comforting and caring for the patient and their families. During this time, nurses build trusting relationships allowing them the ability to facilitate EOL decisions (Griffiths, Ewing, Wilson, Connolly, & Grande, 2015, p. 140). Nurses use many strategies when facilitating EOL care decisions including acting as a provider, educator and advocate. As a provider, nurses are responsible for providing symptom management including relief of pain and emotional care. As an educator, nurses can provide the