ETHICS NOTES-Euthanasia - ETHICS NOTES: Active Euthanasia:...

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ETHICS NOTES: Active Euthanasia : The ANA believes that nurses should not participate in active euthanasia because such an act is in direct violation of the Code for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, the ethical traditions and goals of the profession, and its covenant with society. Nurses have an obligation to provide timely, humane, comprehensive and compassionate end of life care. Definition: “Mercy Killing”. The act of putting to death someone suffering from a painful and prolonged illness or injury. Active Euthanasia means that someone other than the patient commits an action with the intent to end the patient’s life. (for ex. Injecting a patient with a lethal dose). Sometimes euthanasia is subdivided into a situation in which a patient consent to euthanasia (voluntary) or a situation in which a patient refuses euthanasia (involuntary) or a situation when a patient is unable to consent to euthanasia (nonvoluntary). Active euthanasia means that you are not only making the means or death available, but you are serving as the direct agent of death. Physician assisted suicide is a type of active euthanasia. Withholding, Withdrawing and Refusal of Treatment: Honoring the refusal of treatment that a patient does not desire, that are disproportionately burdensome to the patient, or that will not benefit the patient can be ethically and legally permissible. Within this context, withholding or withdrawing life sustaining therapies or risking the hastening of death through treatments aimed at alleviating suffering and/or controlling symptoms are ethically acceptable and do not constitute active euthanasia. Historically, the role of the nurse has been to promote, preserve and protect human life. The Code for Nurses asserts that respect for persons “extends to all who require the services of the nurse for the promotion of health, the prevention of illness, the restoration of health, the alleviation of suffering and the provision of supportive care of the dying. The nurse does not act deliberately to terminate the life of any person. Nurses must be vigilant advocates for the provision of humane and dignified care. Nurses can demonstrate their respect, support and lasting commitment to patients and families without participating in active euthanasia. The topic of death and dying raises questions such as: what is the meaning of life, what is the purpose of medical treatment, and whose right it is to determine when medical treatment and even life should end.
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Physician Assisted Suicide: The ANA believes that the nurse should not participate in assisted suicide. Such an act is in violation of the Code for Nurses and the ethical traditions of the profession. Nurses, individually and collectively, have an obligation to provide comprehensive and compassionate end of life care which includes the promotion of comfort and the relief of pain, and at times, foregoing life sustaining treatments. There is a continuum of end of life choices that encompasses a
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ETHICS NOTES-Euthanasia - ETHICS NOTES: Active Euthanasia:...

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