Physician Assisted Suicide Ethical Issues

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Introduction People have moral and ethical values that assist them in making decisions about their healthcare on a daily basis. What if a person found out that they had a terminal illness and only had months to live? What if those few months would be filled with treatments, pain and suffering, tear filled family members, and high cost medical bills? Physician- assisted suicide remains a debated topic which causes physicians, nurses and those involved to take a look at what they value and what they are willing to do in order to carry out a patient’s wishes. Physician- assisted suicide can be thought of as helping a patient in carrying out their last days by providing the information and medication needed to end their life. The physician…show more content…
There are populations such as the poor, elderly and minorities that can be taking advantage of and not informed of other options for their life. Vicki D. Lachman writes an article entitled; Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking: An Ethical Alternative to Physician- Assisted Suicide. The author talks about the need to assist dying patients by taking a deeper look into palliative care and providing the patient with the necessities and information about withholding treatment that can save their lives (Lachman, 2015, p. 56). The author of the article expressed her concerns that nurses can play a role in providing patients with the knowledge about voluntary stopping of eating and drinking due to the fact that nurses spend more time communicating with the patients and getting to know them in an intimate fashion (Lachman, 2015, p. 59). The patient’s choice to stop eating and drinking is legal unlike their choice to end their life by taking high doses of lethal…show more content…
Assisted suicide is an ethical issue which is reliant on a person’s values, morals, religion, and experiences. Debated this topic can bring out strong emotions and opinions pulling away from the focus of this paper which was simply to describe view points from both sides of the spectrum. There are many nursing implications that are associated with assisted suicide. Among these is the importance for nurses to be aware of their own beliefs about end-of-life care. Self- awareness will prepare nurses for challenges they will face when dealing with death. An additional implication is that nurses need to be conscious of politics and legal authority. Becoming active in political processes, nurses can work to ensure that they will not be forced into doing procedures that come in direct conflict with their beliefs. Currently there are five states where physician- assisted suicide is legal: Oregon, Montana, Vermont, Washington, and New
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