One of the hardest ethical issues I have personally encountered as a nurse is the right to live or die.
I have used the ethical committee in a facility for a patient that was adamantly wanting to be left alone, meaning no more tests, CPR, etc. The family of this patient were not letting that happen. Because the patient was at times unable to make her own medical decisions, the POA was initiated which was her son.
The son felt he needed to have everything possible done for his mother. On one of her rare occassions of coherence while bathing her, she expressed her desires to myself and a CNA. After questioning her and explaining to her exactly what she was saying would mean, she agreed and continued to beg that she be let go. The social worker was contacted, she evaluated the patient and confirmed the information. The social worker and myself spoke with the son. He refused to give up even stating that the condition his mom was in now could be medically managed in a long term care facility. We enlisted the help of the ethics committee. The patient was able to be placed on comfort care as she wished and remain in a hospital environment.