Euthanasia

Prepare a page each in the following with references:
I. Summary of the impact of euthanasia on social values, morals, norms, and nursing
practice
2 Explanation of how an ethical theory and / or ethical principle is applied to euthanasia

Euthanasia

The impact of euthanasia on the nursing practice, norms, morals, and social values
When decisions regarding euthanasia are made, the physician holds the final
responsibility. On the contrary, nurses might have had a chance to contribute their opinions
during the decision-making process. However, in the end, nurses might be forced to execute
orders that they are totally against (Schwarz, 1999). They are usually closer to patients and the
sufferings they go through, in addition, they are closely confronted with the mourning and
distress experienced by friends and family.
Nurses find themselves in dilemma and express the fear of having to make such a
decision or shoulder such responsibilities. The nursing practice is impacted in that nurses
consider their position to be vulnerable and they mostly feel that their opinions are overlooked.
Euthanasia erodes social values, morals and norms in that people cease being human and can kill
those they find to be burdens when terminally ill (Schwarz, 1999). It is very important that an
agreement is reached during the process since it is very hard to start the mourning process if the
patient’s decision is not accepted. The patient’s next of kin have peace of mind if they accept the
patient’s decision. However, if they do not accept it, it cannot be performed since they have to
continue with their lives.
Nurses have tensions when making the decision between accepting euthanasia and the
negative repercussions it can have on the trusting link between patients and caregivers, in
addition to the society (Schwarz, 1999). There are immense fears regarding death in the society

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as far as lack of control, loneliness, and inadequate pain management are concerned. The
interplay of the various forms of fears makes nurses to need a truer values’ reflection in regard to
euthanasia and the attitudes associated with it.

How the ethical principle/ theory is applied to euthanasia

During euthanasia, nurses and all medical practitioners are obligated to abide by the
ethical principles; non maleficence, beneficence, fidelity, justice, and autonomy (Barcalow,
2010). During the entire procedure, the practitioner should ensure that he maintains trust with
clients and does nothing to harm them. On the same note, the patient’s personal information
should be kept confidential unless the patient wants it disclosed. Patients have the authority to
make decisions regarding their own health. Therefore, the decisions the patents make should be
obeyed during euthanasia if they have a sound mind (Barcalow, 2010). However, during the
process, the patient should be provided with relevant and appropriate information so as to ensure
that they make informed decisions.
There is a need to ensure that patients gain the relevant benefits during euthanasia. In this
regard, the practitioner should ensure that the patient is given all the necessary assistance
including transfusions and organ donations. On the same note, a practitioner should ensure that
justice is a key ingredient during the process where all patients are treated equally regardless of
their backgrounds.
In essence, the Hippocratic Oath is very significant during euthanasia and all practitioners
should abide by it. It is important to respect the patient’s decisions while following the ethical
principles.

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References

Barcalow, E. (2010). Moral Philosophy: Theory and Issues. Wadsworth Publishing Company:
California.
Schwarz, J. (1999). Assisted dying and nursing practice. J Nursing Scholarsh, 31: 367–75.

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