Assisted Suicide: A Case Study

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just about being alive but also about how we may deny the right to life or indeed death. Frost (2011) maintains nurses must arbitrate their role and confront their own moral status in conjunction with their own personal values and beliefs. Habitually patients die due to a terminal illness or old age and medication is prescribed for pain management and to alleviate symptoms (Panzer 2000). Chamberlain-Webber (2005) states it is within situations of terminally ill patients that a nurse can truly be an advocate for the patient. However, Panzer (2000) states some doctors have administered large doses of medication then necessary required, resulting in adverse reaction and consequently death. The role of the nurse can be challenging and causes…show more content…
Respecting autonomy means respecting the individuals capacity to make decisions consistent with the patient’s own personal desires or life plans. The British Medical Association (2007) states that these are decisions with which others may not agree with. If a patient is requesting or seeking support in carrying out assisted suicide it poses a challenge for the nurse to seek the underlying reasons for the request. Likewise, Carr and Mohr (2008) concurs with the British Medical Association (2007) and also expresses concern with regard to patients having powerful feelings of depression or isolation, pain or suffering or feel a sense of burden on their families. Better symptom management and palliative care, appropriate referrals to counsellors and hospices and increased knowledge about the right of a competent adult to refuse treatment even if the refusal will hasten death may provide satisfactory alternative to assisted suicide. McCormick (2011) states patients have the fundamental right to make decisions about their own medical care, including the decision to withhold or withdraw treatment and right to die. The patient may have had the opportunity to prepare advance care directives which is the advance expression of wishes by a person, at a time when they have the capacity to express their wishes, about certain treatment that might arise at a future time…show more content…
Consent is when a patient accepts the medication, procedure or treatment plan. If a patient does not consent, then a doctor or a nurse cannot enforce medication, a procedure or treatment against the patient's will. Panzer (2000) articulates that regardless of a patient having a terminal illness, elderly, disabled or sick it does not decrease the value of their life. However, no one knows with certainty when a terminally ill patient will die. Some patients die within days, weeks, months or even years. There has been an increasing amount of media attention and increasing concern over control at end of life. This has generated serious consideration and challenges to legalise assisted suicide. Public debate stems over when a patient dies and the manner in which it happens. However, the debate is not straightforward as the potential for abuse or harm is prevailing society's established prohibitions against assisting suicide. Within this debate, some of society views assisted suicide as being morally wrong and believe it should not be legalized regardless of individual’s particular case. In addition, that professional standards and legislation should not be changed. Others hold the view that assisted suicide is ethically legitimate in exceptional cases. Finally within the debate, some people would advocate that assisted suicide should be a morally and legally acceptable choice in the care of terminal ill patients. As a
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