Resolutionsto Assisted Suicide
Ethicaldilemma and conflicts are ubiquitous in the contemporary health caresector. Today’s health organizations are being confronted withemerging ailments whereby some of these diseases are incurable.Consequently, nurses end up putting patients in life extendingmedication, which usually causes suffering and distress to thepatients and nurses as well. This suffering has often instigatedissues such as assisted suicide. The above statement forms the basisupon which this paper is built. The paper seeks to offer an extensiveview on the resolutions to assisted euthanasia as a pervasive ethicaldilemma. For authenticity, I conducted an interview, which involved ahospital administrator, a spiritual leader, a health care colleagueand a friend. The paper will thus, incorporate their responses assome of the solutions towards assisted suicide.
Accordingto Neil (2009), dealing with ethical dilemmas in health care settingsis not only paramount to the distressed nurses and patients but alsoto any health stakeholders striving to improve and enhance provisionof quality medical services. This is because ethical dilemma canadversely affect patient care and can also lead to job turnover oremployee burnout. Medics further postulate that health administratorsare key players in offering solutions to ethical conflicts. Theirposition allows them to set the tone by making sure that nurses intheir organizations are provided with the necessary resources andtools they require to perform their duties. The experts conducted forthis paper outlined numerous resolutions that when implemented canprovide valid and reliable solutions to assisted euthanasia.
First,health administrators should support and promote the code of ethicsin nursing practice. According to scholars, nurses should befamiliarized with nursing ethics and apply them on a daily basis.Health administrators should incorporate the values and morals thatnurses should apply and adhere to them daily in the health caresetting. The behavior of the nurses should always concur with nursingethics. Health administrators should also ensure that the behavior ofthe nurses is consistent with the code of ethics as well as theorganizations’ job descriptions. Additionally, healthadministrators should ensure that their organizations have positionstatements regarding ethical performance, which can be used as aguide to the nurses (Neil, 2009). In the given context of assistedsuicide, it is the responsibility of the health administrators toinstill and enforce the nursing ethics whose core goal is to protectpatients’ life and give them quality health care services. Wheninterviewed, the administrator Banner health organization assertedthat in nursing practice patients’ right to life should alwaysguide nurses. He further outlined that assisted euthanasia is crimethat should not be tolerated by any health organization across theglobe. He said that to eliminate the predicament of assisted suicide,ethics just like any other subject should be taught and fullyimparted to nurses. On the same note, he postulated that ethics isnot just being good (personal communication, August 17, 2015)..Teaching nurses ethics imparts them with the necessary tools formaking the right decisions when confronted with situations wherepatients request for assisted suicide.
Thesecond resolution towards assisted suicide dilemma is provision ofethics experts in health organizations.
Healthorganizations should strive to employ on site nurse ethicists as wellas other professionals in ethics that nurses and clinicians canconfidently seek valuable information in regards to nursing ethics.These specialists are crucial in helping the nurses refocus andreflect on ethical dilemmas such as assisted suicide. Ethicists helpnurses and patients in gaining the right perceptive and a clearcomprehending of their choices. Additionally, ethics mentors are keyplayers in restoring hope to patients and giving nurses moralsupport. This greatly aids in reducing the cases of assisted murdersince most patients and nurses who engage in this vice are justmentally stressed and not necessarily due to suffering caused by theillness. This resolution can be clearly ascertained through aninterview with a health worker in Texas medical center who said thatnurses need moral support and guidance in their work. He articulatedthat assisted suicide has been an awfully prevalent vice in Texasmedical organization over the years whereby the center recordedapproximately eighty cases every year. However, the health workerconfirmed that after Texas embarked on employing ethics professionalsto guide nurses on the issue, suicide euthanasia has been completelyeliminated from the center (Personal communication, August 17, 2015).This is clear evidence that ethicists are able to identify ethicalconflicts early enough and therefore address the conflicts from theperspective of preventive ethics.
Thirdly,nurses counseling services are a major resolution to assisted suicideethical dilemma. Nurses troubled by assisted euthanasia benefit a lotfrom counseling sessions. It is evident that in many societies, thedignity of life is highly valued and societies believe that no onehas the right to take his or her own life or even another person’slife. This implies that when confronted by assisted suicide dilemma,some nurses may be greatly troubled and affected psychologically afactor that would even adversely affect their work. The health workerinterviewed asserted that Texas medical center has also initiatedguidance and counseling departments where nurses can be counseled onassisted suicide as a way of helping them refocus on their personalvalues and morals (Personal communication, August 17, 2015).
Moreover,creating a healthcare setting where nurses can speak up and sharetheir experiences is a vital factor in eliminating assisted suicideas an ethical dilemma. Partnering with other health organizationsprovides avenues where nurses can share their work experiences indiverse settings. Through speaking up, nurses come up with unanimoussolutions on the whole notion of physician assisted deaths. Thehealth administrator Banner center validated this assertion by sayingthat Banner has partnered with centers such as Cleveland clinic, Mayoclinic and also Marshfield health center in a bid to solve ethicalconflicts. Through these partnerships, nurses and medicalpractitioners hold forums where they can share on the issues andchallenges facing them in the nursing practice.
Inaddition, offering spiritual nourishment is a notable resolution inaddressing assisted suicide. Religious discords contend that it isonly the deities that people believe in that are supposed to take thelife of people. People live to fear and respect these supreme beings.Imparting patients as well as nurses with religious norms istherefore a vital step in eliminating assisted suicide (Mark, 2009).The interviewed spiritual leader postulated that when people believereligious doctrines, then they will live to uphold the dignity oflife .Since committing suicide is an abominable sin that sends one tohell, the religious connotations of hell will thus prevent patientsand nurses from assisted suicide (personal communication, August 17,2015). Another interviewee was my close friend whose relative hadrequested her doctor for assisted suicide a year ago. Luckily, thedoctor declined and after sessions of counseling, moral support andspiritual nourishment the patient underwent medication and she isapparently healthy and performing her tasks excellently.
Mark,F.(2009).Physicianassisted suicide: religious perspectives on Death with Dignity.Wheatmark,Inc.
Michael,B.(1998).Assisted suicide :Legal,medical, ethical and social issues.Diane publishers.
Neil,M.(2009).Thefuture of assisted suicide and Euthanasia.Princeton university press.