Ethical and Moral Issues in Assisted Euthanasia – Essay Example
The paper "Ethical and Moral Issues in Assisted Euthanasia" is an exceptional example of an essay on nursing.
In cases dealing with end-of-life processes, sometimes families of people with terminal medical conditions make requests to medical practitioners for assisted euthanasia and suicide. However, in most cases, medical practitioners and in particular nursing professionals are faced with an ethical dilemma concerning whether to honor such requests or not. In general, society considers it wrong for anyone to directly cause another person’s death. However, in contemporary times, individual liberties and freedoms are considered fundamental values (Burt, 1998). Basically, religious and philosophical societal spheres are mostly against any form of “killing.”
In particular, most religious people within the society consider it immoral to take human life. For example, Terri Schiavo’s parents objected to the assisted anesthesia request by Terri’s husband (Franklin Springs Family Media, 2009). Terri’s parents argued that the procedure was against church teachings with regard to euthanasia and the refusal to nutrition and hydration. However, on the contrary, Dax Cowart states that in the hospital, he sought to discontinue treatment and die because of the severe pain, but the doctors would not let him (Burt, 1998). Although Cowart is happy with his life today, he asserts that he would still choose to die rather than go through the same pain again.
Essentially assisted suicide is considered as being against social norms because it is mostly a second person who makes the decision for the incapacitated person. Therefore, this means that family members are allowed to ask for assisted suicide if they think that their loved ones will not survive a certain condition. In the nursing profession, the issue of assisted euthanasia is considered an ethical dilemma. Although some states assisted euthanasia is legal, there still exist some ethical dilemmas in the practice. For example, nurses are at a loss on whether they are acting beyond their powers by assisting others to die, or they are just fulfilling their duty to their patients’ wishes. However, as Norman (2012) writes, so long as the patient is not competent to refuse euthanasia, then the nurse should not be condemned for administering life-ending euthanasia on patients.