Unformatted text preview: When dealing with euthanasia or assisted suicide the legal system must ensure that the
constitutional rights of the patient are maintained, while protecting societys interests in
preserving life, preventing suicide, and maintaining the integrity of the medical profession
(Pozgar, 2010). For a long time, up until the 20th century, suicide in some cultures was good and
some cultures believed that is you chose to die from a disease rather than take your own life you
would go to hell. Today there are many controversies surrounding euthanasia or assisted suicides
that legislators and medical treatment facilities have had to deal with. As a result, the American
Medical Association, the American Bar Association, legislators, and judges are actively
attempting to formulate and legislate clear guidelines in this sensitive, profound, and not yet fully
understood area. To ensure compliance with the law, while serving the needs of their patients, it
is incumbent on health care providers to keep themselves informed of the legislation enacted in
this ever-changing field (Pozgar, 2010).
Patients and families have the right to sign a Do Not Resuscitate order. Do-not-resuscitate
(DNR) orders are those given by a physician indicating that in the event of a cardiac or
respiratory arrest no resuscitative measures should be used to revive the patient (Pozgar, 2010).
Also a withdrawal of treatment can be done when death is imminent and cant be prevented with
the available treatment, is this morally permissible. Withdrawal of treatment should be
considered when (1) the patient is in a terminal condition and there is a reasonable expectation of
imminent death of the patient and (2) the patient is in a noncognitive state with no reason- able
possibility of regaining cognitive function, and/or restoration of cardiac function will last for a
brief period (Pozgar, 2010).
(Pozgar, G, 2010. Legal and Ethical Issues for Health Care Professionals.
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