Euthanasia to the argument that euthanasia relieves patients

        Euthanasia has been tried to be
legalized but all seeming to be unsuccessful but it is still a topic that is
being discussed in the medical environment. There have been good arguments by
both sides who agree or disagree with the procedure and are in between deciding
whether society should accept or decline ever legalizing it. Individuals who
believe in the process hold on to the argument that euthanasia relieves
patients from their pain and also preserves the patients right to be free from
all their sufferings (Bachman et al. 304). Nurses are seen as one of the most
important part of healthcare process. They are usually the first group of people
to have contact with the patient when they come in to seek care and also the
most people to be seen if there is a case of extended stay or even homecare (Everhart
1). They are those who entertain the patients by way of having conversations
with the patients and keeping them company. Nurses are believed to be the heart
and soul of the healthcare system. They are the most trusted by patients due to
their continuous contact with patients and hence told a lot of things that
might be hidden from the physician (Everhart 1). Physician patient relationship
is very important but sometimes they are not formed because the physician is
assigned to many patients and has to attend to all of them in a specific period
of time. Patients do not have long and detailed conversations with physicians
as they do with nurses. Physicians mostly depend on notes from the nurses in
other to administer treatment to these patients. Patients depending on the
illness they have cannot endure the pain they are going through hence wanting
to end their lives. Sometimes their decision is not even discussed with their
families but rather nurses because they feel they understand them better and
know what they are going through. Sometimes advice is sort from the nurses as
to whether they should go through with their decision or not. Aid-in-dying has
been something that has caught the public’s eye for some time. There have been
laws supporting or banning it as well as physicians who have come out with
statements stating they would perform it or never perform the process on a
patient. Euthanasia has to always be done for the right reasons and paid equal
attention to regardless of societal class. Since nurses are known and seen to
be the closest to patients during their time of stay at a clinic or even a
visit, there is a question that is being asked. There is a fight with the
acceptance of euthanasia even by nurses. There has been votes where a group
opted in its favor while others declined (Asch, 1375). Through research, it has
been proven that some nurses have participated in this act because they were
ordered to do so and others performing this procedure because a patient asked
them to. Should nurses be allowed to play a role in aid-in-dying?

Perspective
one

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         Utilitarianism
allows individuals to perform acts as long as it leads to good consequences
especially maximizing these consequences. With this everyone counts equally.
Nurses have this at the back of their minds when attending to patients. They do
what will make patients happy and relieve them of their pain no matter who they
are and where they come from.  Nurses
have the privilege to get close to patients and learn things about them that
doctors or physicians would not get the opportunity to know as said earlier.
They have acute knowledge of what the patient is going through, the length of
their pain if any, whether their medication being administered is serving its
purpose or not. Even though assisting patients in dying seems like a terrible
idea, unethical and a taboo by some physicians (Preston 38), it is sometimes
the best resort for a patient who has a disease or an infection with no cure
but increasing pain. Leaving the patients to suffer knowing their medication
would not be of help will lead to a disutility. Nurses are those who can really
decide whether the plug should be pulled or AID performed on a patient because
they have listened and know whether death will help particular patients or not.
Rule will be used when nurses are allowed to play a role in AID. The right
procedures and guidelines will be followed to maximize utility at the long run.
Nurses already abide by these rules and can use it in AID where the utility in
the long run will be relieving a patient from pain through death. Some of these
rules include, the patient asking for the process twice through word of mouth
and a written statement in 15 days, second physician’s opinion will be sought
in other to confirm whether the process should be performed or not, seeking a
visit from a mental health professional and the patient to tell their families
about their decision (Lee et al. 312). Throughout the process, the nurse will
be by the side of the patient and guide them throughout the process. As part of
their jobs, physicians have to report a request like that and their
participation in it to the state health division. Death is or can be a way to
relieving pain that cannot be ended and patients depending on their level of
pain and whether it can be cured or not will understand that it is a part of
their job.

          Physicians will make their judgments
based on their findings from studies or the little they are told about
patients. Ending a patient’s life for the wrong reason such as influence from
families or lack of resources should not be allowed because death is an
irreversible process and should not be done because a person’s life seems
unworthy. The intensity of the pain has to understood, the duration and scope
has to be known as well as probability. If nurses are allowed to aid patient’s
death due to endless pain, they will assist physicians in making the right
decisions by enlightening them on issues some being personal which will be
relevant to the final decision making process.  According to the book if nurses are
allowed to take part in aiding patient’s death, there will be less trust and
harm will be done. I disagree with this because patients all around will know
that nurses listen to them and pay attention to their needs hence will do what
they can to help them in the best way they can. Death is or can be a way to
relieving pain that cannot be ended and patients depending on their level of
pain and whether it can be cured or not will understand that it is a part of
their job. Nurses rather than not being trusted or their image being tarnished
can be seen as the middle man between the patients and physicians to help them
make informed decisions on AID.

          Aside the feeling of pleasure or pain
being close to impossible to be calculated, nursing assisting in AID can lead
to disutility and other negative outcomes. People believe that the greatest
pain and suffering is death. The pain is not only felt by the individual
moments before they are gone thinking about the life they are leaving behind
but also felt by families who are constantly reminded about the death
especially it not happening from a natural cause. This maximizes disutility
because even though one person died in the process more will have to deal with
the end result being sorrow. Nurses assisting in AID can easily lead to abuse.
Justice or human rights can be ignored. A rich person can manipulate a nurse
with money who will convince someone with a disease that cannot be cured or a
poor person with no money for treatment to take part of the process in other
for organs to be harvested for the rich. Life value of the less privilege is
seen as worthless hence there will be no harm in assisting them in AID if it
will assist the rich to survive. It is stated that the undervalued that is the
elderly, poor, minorities and so on find it hard to protect their interest.
When this happens it means that for the good of the few that is the rich and
the higher class in the society, other’s rights and interests can be violated.
Ending a patient’s life for the wrong reason such as influence from families or
lack of resources should not be allowed because death is an irreversible
process and should not be done because a person’s life seems unworthy.

Perspective
two

         Patients wish their demands are
granted because they believe it will help their illness or situation. Nurses,
because they have a duty to help patients feel good about themselves when they
pay attention to their wishes and grants them. They also do so because they
feel the pain these patients are going through. Patients assigns duties to
nurses in their heads and know that they will be by their side, be able to
confide in them and expect them to grant their wishes. It is morally right if a
nurse helps a patient out with the intent of saving them from their suffering
or taking them out of their misery. This is what deontology suggests. If a
nurse gives a patient an injection that makes them feel better in the long run,
they are praised because of their actions helping. Same should be viewed of
nurses assisting in AIDs because at the long run the patient does not cry or
complain about the feel anymore they are relieved through death. Nurses use
reason which is distinctively human to make these decisions. If a patient tell
a nurse how he or she feels and decides death is the only way forward for him
or her, the nurse will assess the situation, look at the records and examine
their pain before suggesting to the physician or reporting to them about the
concern of the patient. Aside this why we do something matters as much as what
we do. The motives of these nurses are to help these patients feel better in
any way they can. The nurse does not intentionally help a patient die because
it is fun but because it is the right thing to do after constant conversations
with the patient and physicians. Also, subjectivism and autonomy
should permit a patient to end his or her life if they feel the pain they are
going through cannot be endured. Also as humans we have rights that allows us
to make our own decisions. Refusing a treatment to someone even if it leads to
death means depriving the person of their right and self-determination. A nurse
has a right to choose and should not be deprived of their right too (Cotton 363).
A nurse should be allowed to participate in the process after the nurse gives
their informed consent. They should be free of any sort of controlling
influence. 

           It can be hard for nurses to know the
difference between morally legitimate desires and those that are not. Even
though they are trained professionals, it may be hard for them to see through
desires of patients that are not moral. If a patient is not in his or her right
mind and request the procedure to be performed on them, nurses should be able
to stand firm in other to refuse the request but it can be the case where
reason is out aside and based on inclination, wrong decisions will be make
thinking the patient is being helped.. Nurses sometimes base their actions on
desires, emotions, and instincts. This is a problem because, inclination should
not be allowed when it has to do with life and death. Reason has to be used in
this case. Sometimes nurses feel bad for people who are suffering and tend to
help them in any way they can without thinking it through and this is where the
good name of the health system can be tarnished. Nurses when it comes to AID,
tend to skip rules and processes part of the reason they should not be allowed
to participate in this act. Nurses should not have it in their heads that
whatever a patient suggests will help with their illness is right. If subjectivism
is true, it will mean that none of the patients are morally wrong. Patients can
make wrong choices because of what their body is going through. Nurses instead
of trying to be good and liked granting these wishes should be firm and educate
patients on what they ask for, if uncertain deny these patients the processes.
If they cannot abide by this, they need to stay out of AID.  

Perspective
three

       Religious or cultural nurses as well as some
patients believe that that earthly suffering is temporal and that there is a
peaceful place without suffering after death (Berghs et al. 441). This is
commonly seen among Christians and will encourage nurses or even physicians to
aid in their deaths. The Bible states “He will wipe away every tear from their
eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying,
nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was
seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelations
21). After reading this, Christian patients would want their pain to end and go
to a place with their maker where they can enjoy internal life without worrying
about pains. Nurses who have the same believes will do the process for these
patients to send them to the new world and relieve them of their pain. It is
also taught in Christian homes that people who are believers spend eternal life
in paradise after death, where everyone will It is also seen in Muslims when
they would sacrifice themselves for others or would not hesitate to die because
they are taught there is a better world provided for humans with Allah after
death. The Bible says, “For the living know that they will die; but the dead
know nothing… their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished”
(Ecclesiastes 9:5). Christians are taught since childhood that there is a place
known as paradise that believers go after death and are prepared for it for the
afterlife. If a Christian patient is in pain with none of the medication
helping with an option of ending his or her life, he or she will opt for that
because of these teachings.

       Others do not believe in such a way of
ending life. They wish the only way of death is the one from natural causes.
These people believe in moral relativism where their culture or religion
determines what is moral or not. In such a case the individual will decline
such a process even if it is reasonable for them to do so. They will feel it will
hinder their chances of being at a better place after death. Natural deaths are
viewed with dignity because in their opinion, it is a way of God saying it is
time to join him. AID will mean the individual is suggesting that he or she
knows better than the Almighty who is All-Knowing.  Nurses who have this mentality will not engage
in such a role because it goes against their religion and believe will leave a
permanent stain on them.

Justification

      Nurses should be permitted to play a role
in AID because they are those who constantly have interactions with patients
and know what they go through on the daily bases and are the qualified people
to advice physicians as to which patients are well qualified for euthanasia. Also
nurses playing a role in AID will lead to maximizing utility because deaths
will help relieve people of their pain and sufferings. Nurses will use reason
as part of their training to make the right decisions when it comes to
euthanasia. Right procedures will be followed because as nurses always do, they
look out for the well-being of a patient because of their kind and warm hearts.
Hasty decisions concerning pulling the plug on a patient can be drastic but if
there is a nurse to serve as a mediator, such mistakes will be avoided most of
the time which will go a long way to preserve the good name of the health
system. Most patients are autonomous and can make their own decisions. Also
they have rights and these have to be respected and listened to. If a patient
choses to end his or her life due to an illness causing pains that cannot be
endured, he or she should be granted that free of any outside forces or
distractions. It is the duty of nurses to assist patients with their illness and
do what is in their power to help them feel better. If nurses are allowed to
play a role in AID and it helps a patient feel better, it is mean their duty is
being performed hence not doing anything to hurt these patients. Religious
patients believe that earthly sufferings are temporary and that there is a
better place where pain and illness does not exist as a result they will ask
for the process to be performed on them. Some if not most nurses are also
religious and have the same believes (Berghs et al. 442). If they see a fellow Christian
suffering, they will suggest such a process to them and will talk them through
it. Nurses should be allowed to do this because there is a good reason behind
it that will be helping patients. 

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