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A Nurse’s Obligation When Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia Has Been Requested
There are many controversial issues in America today that affect human beings, but none more contentious than the matters that pose concern for the right to live and the right to die. While this is a challenging question to ask both personally and professionally, this is a healthcare dilemma that is nearly impossible to answer without facing legal and ethical concerns, as well as clouded and robust emotions from society. It is without a doubt that nurses are a vital part in caring for people with terminal illnesses until their end of life. In the healthcare field, the role of a nurse is to promote health, prevent illnesses, and care for the ill, disabled and dying (Taylor, 2011). The ill, sick and the dying require more assistance because nurses have to manage their pain, address their psycho-spiritual needs, treatment choice and help the patient and their family communicate their wishes for end of life care through hospice care.
While there is tons of information on physician’s roles in assisting death, there is little to no resources guiding nurses on their obligation to address a patient’s request to die. Perhaps it is the fact that assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal in many jurisdictions. Assisted suicide is the provision of means or information, with the intention of ending a life, where the means is self-administered. In contrast, euthanasia is when caregivers end a patient’s life to provide a peaceful death. Nurses have to deal with these issues constantly which in retrospect, gives them logical insight on what obligations nurses should have based on their experiences while caring for ill patients.
Professional organizations such ...

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Gordon, M.(2006). Physician-assisted suicide. In The encyclopedia of aging. Retrieved from
Taylor, C., Lillis, C., LeMone, P., & Lynn, P. (2011). Fundamentals of nursing: the art and science of nursing care (7th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Associaton, A. N. (2013, April 24). Retrieved June 1, 2014, from Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and Aid in Dying: (2014, January 7). Retrieved June 6, 2014, from Brain-dead girl Jahi McMath released from California hospital:

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