Assisted Suicide

  1. How should a nurse respond when a patient begs for a quick and easy death? What is a nurse's role, if any, in the assisted suicide process?
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  2. 44 Comments

  3. by   frann
    Doesn't everyone want a quick and easy death?
    Are they depressed? In pain? Anxiety?
  4. by   ninas
    Quote from frann
    Doesn't everyone want a quick and easy death?
    Are they depressed? In pain? Anxiety?
    I'm just wondering in terms of assisted suicide in general. How do nurses feel about it, especially when the patient is suffering or in extreme pain that can't be medicated?
  5. by   Agnus
    Why on earth would a patient who was suffering in extreem pain not be able to be medicated?

    So your question is, if we can't medicate them should we kill them?!
  6. by   hogan4736
    agressive hospice is "assisted suicide"

    (for terminal patients, hospice is wonderful)

    sean
  7. by   ninas
    Quote from Agnus
    Why on earth would a patient who was suffering in extreem pain not be able to be medicated?

    So your question is, if we can't medicate them should we kill them?!
    No, that's not my question at all. It's more of a quality of life issue. My original question was what role, if any, should a nurse play in assisted suicide? What if the patient, who is of sound mind and faculties, asks to die with dignity or without pain? How do you respond to that question?
  8. by   Havin' A Party!
    Here in the States, the legalities surrounding assisted suicide are paramount. So it's majorly important to tread carefully in this area to avoid any kind of professional or personal liability.

    Pain shouldn't be an issue though.
  9. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    In the U.S., assisted suicide is illegal.

    Here is a great book that I own on the topic of assisted suicide and hospice. This book can help answer many of your questions.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846



    Here is a review of the book:
    Editorial Reviews
    From Publishers Weekly
    As an alternative to the growing movement for legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide of the terminally ill (especially people who have cancer or AIDS), oncologist Cundiff strongly advocates hospice programs such as the one in California where he serves as a ``palliative'' physician. In this challenging, comprehensive study of the nature of pain, he contends that most terminally ill patients fear pain more than death, and cites cases in which unrelieved suffering in high-tech hospitals, often aggravated by diagnostic tests, futile and painful resuscitation attempts and life-support systems, prompts patients to request euthanasia. After reviewing the arguments for and against euthanasia, Cundiff eloquently proposes basic changes in our health care system that would encourage the founding of hospice programs, in which death is considered a normal phase of life to be traversed with a minimum of suffering, accompanied by psychological support in the quest for spiritual growth. Cundiff also maintains that establishing more hospices would reduce the high cost of terminal care.

    Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
  10. by   rodwill
    In Oregon Physician Assisted Suicide is legal-

    http://www.ohd.hr.state.or.us/chs/pas/pas.cfm

    For info, stats, etc

    check the ohsu site for nursing involvement- http://www.ohsu.edu/ethics/guidebookchap8.htm

    Roddy
    Last edit by rodwill on Mar 17, '04 : Reason: extra content
  11. by   P_RN
    Ninas is this research for another article?
  12. by   Blackcat99
    I would not want to participate in any assisted suicide. I think God gives us life and God takes our life when it is time. I don't want to "Play God"
  13. by   Agnus
    Quote from ninas
    No, that's not my question at all. It's more of a quality of life issue. My original question was what role, if any, should a nurse play in assisted suicide? What if the patient, who is of sound mind and faculties, asks to die with dignity or without pain? How do you respond to that question?
    Then you respond that they will be treated with dignity and you will see that thier pain it TREATED. ANd then do it.

    I Have worked Hospice. I Have worked critical care, I have worked LTC. In every setting I have assisted patients and families though this. In every case they wanted dignity and to be without pain. Everyone wants dignity and to be comfortable.

    Pain is treateable. If you do not know how then I suggest that you gain some education specific to this. JAHCO and the national pain initiative mandate that pain be adequately addressed and treated.

    Treat the pain and this does not become an issue.
    Depression can be treated. Pain can be treated. People can be treated with dignity.

    If you are uncomfortable with someone's life that does not = poor quality of life.

    When statements are made by patients like the above it is generated from fear that thier pain will not be treated.

    Sean,
    You are very misinformed about what hospice is. your statement is a MYTH. An all too common one at times but a myth none the less.

    I hope you are not working hospice. Please, learn more about hospice.
    Last edit by Agnus on Mar 18, '04
  14. by   traumaRUs
    I would not actively assist in suicide. However, I know that by giving narcotics, I may depress a pts breathing...but pain needs are paramount. Don't remember who posted this, but what is "agressive hospice?" Never heard that one.

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