I have stepped in for colleagues who don't feel comfortable removing life support. I'd rather have a terminal (from whatever cause) patient die with some dignity rather than code them and all that stuff. I can totally understand why some people aren't comfortable in light of the fact that Tiiki pointed out, we are trained to save lives.
But let me play devil's advocate here. We have some doctors who do not believe in DNR status. They are required to remove themselves from the case if they cannot abide by the patients wishes. SO they are, in essence, allowed to refuse care on their beliefs, so why not us too. One thing I remember in nursing school
was the don't be judgemental crap. HELLO!! WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS, NOT MACHINES! So yes, I think it is totally ethical to not care for someone who is having something done that is against your beliefs. There was another thread about a woman who worked in a family planning clinic and was awarded money for distress of some sort related to abortions they were doing and her outspokenness about that. She had no business working in that type of facility.
I like Cathy have taken care of people who have killed others (I consider drunk drivers on the same par with someone who gets a gun and shoots someone or stabs someone-deadly weapon!!), rapists, etc. Like Cathy, I consider them a human organism. I do what I have to do for them and am not cruel to them but they don't get any special treatment either.
Tough question. Best of luck on your presentation, Jevans!!!!!