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‘right To Die', What's Your Take On It?
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I never thought someone would wish to die? Even during a situation where health is deteriorating and diseases are incurable, I believed that the patients hope for a Miracle! This was till the time I came across the news of ‘Right to Die' getting legalized in US. No one will argue to the fact that nursing is a highly challenging profession and with this act coming into sanction, their job has become even tougher. While they are engaged in their day to day jobs of diagnosing illnesses, assessing and managing pain and doing medications, they also walk that extra mile to address the psycho-spiritual needs of their patients. I believe with these acts going legal in the system, where patients demand death on their own wish, highly influences some critical medical decisions.
I also read about many professional nursing, sanatorium and medical organizations that have filed a petition against the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. This forced professional participation definitely shatters their valuable perspectives, and limit the authority with the doctors to decide whether the decision is right or wrong. Nurses who work in Oregon and other places that give a legal stamp to death by choice are definitely demanded to have skill, composure and patience to deal with these kinds of patients. Apart from these, many countries permit an open dialogue with the patients and their respective families to help them consider their professional responses to the existing issue.
In my opinion, nurses who are willing to participate in rendering such care must be given an option to witness tremendous suffering before they take up the case. Also, they must be supported and educated in the relevant context to reduce their suffering and instill hope of reliving. They must be permitted to explore and identify their personal medical opinions regarding that particular case which can often put an end to this suffering and improvise their practice in self-care.
What touches the most crucial and riskier part of this practice is that nurses must possess that intellect to understand what the patient actually wants. They must spend time in knowing the difference between asking for assistance in suicide, euthanasia, or mere relief from the suffering. If they are unable to discriminate between these actions, there are chances that they end up inviting unanticipated emotional and legal consequences.
After reading though the studies, I have came across some content where nurses openly demand guidance in discerning the moral and legal distinctions that might be imposed to their nursing actions at the end of life. Their dilemma also rests in the fact that they lack support in dealing with such tricky clinical situations as a result of which they fail to take decisions about specific interventions. Lastly, they must be enlightened on how to make ethical decisions which can suit and honor individual differences. Nurses who decide to participate in the process of assisting in death in spite of professional and legal sanctions; or those who do not participate even in this legalized practice must understand their rights, along with legal and ethical implications. In a nutshell, it can be said that nurses must act wisely and participate in discussions to know how to make choices and act in ethically and legally coherent ways in cases like these.
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