Collaborative Learning Community: Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma

Refer to the “Collaborative Learning Community: Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma”
resource for the dilemmas and resources that will be used for this multi-part Analysis of
an Ethical Dilemma assignment. Part Two is an individual assignment that will also be
used in Part Three, the culminating paper.
For this individual assignment, interview a hospital administrator, a spiritual leader, a
health care colleague, or a neighbour/friend.
Individually, you only need to interview one person, but your CLC group must have
representation from four different individuals and perspectives to complete Part Three
of the Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma assignment.
Students should discuss within their CLC group to determine who will be responsible
for interviewing the hospital administrator, the spiritual leader, the health care

colleague, and the neighbour/friend to make sure all roles are covered.
In your interview, ask about the individual’s philosophy and worldview in relation to
the ethical dilemma your CLC group chose for Part One of the Analysis of an Ethical
Dilemma group assignment. Craft a 250-500 word summary of the individual’s
response, including the individual’s identified philosophy and worldview.

CLC Part One: Euthanasia

Euthanasia
Euthanasia is defined as the intentional administration of drugs that are lethal with the
intention of terminating person’s life in a painless manner; to relieve patient from continued
suffering from an chronic and incurable condition which that is unbearable. There are three
types of euthanasia; a) voluntary euthanasia- which refers to euthanasia conducted upon
patient requests; b) Non- voluntary euthanasia- which refers to euthanasia performed but not
from patient wish/ request and c) Physician assisted suicide- where the physician willing and
knowingly terminates patient life at the patient request (Dierckx de Casterlé, Denier, De Bal
& Gastmans, 2010).
Impact on nursing practice, social values, morals, and norms
For example, in nursing profession, there is the issue of trust, i.e. the patient should trust the
nurse that he or she will not be killed by the nurse. In this context, euthanasia concepts
develop the dimension of suspicion that conflicts with the nurse roles as healer and comforter
(Sharp, 2012). On the other hand, the patient expects the nurses to be their advocates, thus,

CLC Part One: Euthanasia
institutions that co-opt euthanasia in their policy could cause the rise of the concept of
distrust due to the interrupted confidence in relationship between the service user and the
service provider (Quaghebeur, Dierckx de Casterle & Gastmans, 2009).
The integrity of nurses should never be used mainly to meet the patient goals i.e. patient
wishes to die. Although utilitarian theory supports this practice, it is against the nurse moral
and professional dignity for the nurses. Although involvement of the nurses in executing
euthanasia adversely affect the society faith as well as trust in nursing practice; it is in line
with the nurses professional responsibility of protecting human dignity, caring and
promoting as well as protecting patient interest. Thus it can be said it is compatible with
nursing practice (Salladay, 2015).
Ethical theory and principle
The dialogue between Dax Cowart and Robert Burt is paradoxical and somewhat disturbing.
On one hand, there is Dax whose storyline begins from gas explosion that caused injuries that
caused him involuntary rehabilitation and treatment. After treatment, he faced seven years of
severe depression with unsuccessful suicidal attempts. Through the dialogue, it is evident
that Dax remained adamant that he was treated with just as his requests were denied. Dr.
Burt is an expert in biomedical ethics as well as the constitutional law. Within the debate, Dr.
Burt stance on how Dax was treated is paternalist. His arguments are that patients who are
suffering may not reject treatment so as to end their lives.
The core concept from this dialogue is patient’s autonomy. Dax forceful administrations of
treatments and physicians practices were immoral; which made him feel that his autonomy is
compromised. On the other hand, Burt argues that doctor’s interventions and rejection of
Dax’s requests were acceptable. The dialogue between the two continues to revolve around
the ideal course of action. However later, both men agree that interaction between the patient
and the healthcare provider, with Burt positing that such conversations should be prolonged

CLC Part One: Euthanasia
as much as possible or atleast when the patient reluctantly admit or when the physicians have
exhausted all alternative options. However, Dax pursues the objection o of the idea posing
the question on what time would be appropriate for the physician to comply with patient’s
issues. This evokes an issue that there lacks appropriate time to for such decisions. In this
case, the patient should willingly allow the physician have indefinite time to search for
opitions, while they undergo pain and suffering is unjust.
From the Dax and Burt dialogue, the basic medical ethical principles are evident. These
include non-maleficence, autonomy, justice and beneficence. For instance, the nurses are
obliged to respect for the patient autonomy. This justifies the issue of euthanasia, as the
nursing professional ethics indicates that patient’s autonomy must be respected. The patient
request on their private life must be respected by the physician, government and the nurses.
The lack of empathy and justice are some of the key concerns that he had with the medical
team, which I believe was a basic flaw of the healthcare system. Therefore, the nurses must
never feel guilty when undertaking these tasks as it is respecting autonomous (Salladay,
2015).
The critics that arise in this context include the fact that these practices have little respect to
empathy and autonomy of the patient family and relatives. This is evidenced by the case
study of Terri Schiavo. This case study involved numerous motions, hearings and petitions in
the courts. In this context, I would argue that a patient autonomy is not vital if it erases all
the importance of the community social paradigm. Life is a valued paradigm in the society.
What is patient autonomy if the patient does not enjoy his/her autonomy? Is euthanasia an
indication that the healthcare providers are unable to deal with death(Sharp, 2012)?
Rejection of euthanasia is mainly supported by the nursing ethics principle of non-
maleficence. This principle supports the sanctity of life making it difficult to acknowledge
euthanasia as ethical practice. Therefore, this principle calls for respect for life. This is also

CLC Part One: Euthanasia
supported by the ethical principle of beneficence delineates the importance of promulgating
the legitimate interests of all other people involved. On the other hand, the ethical principle
supports in practicing the overall good of the patient, which requires in stating what is
medically appropriate for the patient (Quaghebeur, Dierckx de Casterle & Gastmans, 2009).
This discussion is peculiar because Terri Schiavo case study hinges on paternalist
interpretation of life that all lives are worth living. On the other hand, Burt and Dax dialogue
arguments deal with the concept of another person deciding the worth of your life. Obviously,
no one understands the feelings and thoughts of the patient who is suffering; therefore, there
is no way a person can evaluate the worthiness of another person’s life. Terri Schiavo case
study and Dax & Burt arguments discount the suffering and pain of the patient; arguing the
sanctity of life; this brings forth the question, “Who chooses, who controls (Salladay, 2015)?
Conclusion
The increased lack of consensus between the nurses on this ethical issue points the
importance to analyse the world view and ideologies as well as the nurse’s attitudes and
beliefs about assisted euthanasia. Attention should be focused on the role of assisted
euthanasia in essence of care by evaluating the evidence based studies. This is especially
important because of the specificity nature of the nursing expertise in care, especially in end
of life care.

CLC Part One: Euthanasia
References
Dierckx de Casterlé, B., Denier, Y., De Bal, N., & Gastmans, C. (2010). Nursing care for
patients requesting euthanasia in general hospitals in Flanders, Belgium. Journal Of
Advanced Nursing, 66(11), 2410-2420.

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