The Right to Die with Dignity- MD assisted suicide

  1. 0
    With the recent ruling in New Mexico to allow physician assisted suicide for the mentally competent terminally ill, it made me wonder current views on physician assisted suicide. I found a topic on this from 2007, but a lot changes in 7 years.

    I personally believe that every person has the fundamental right to choose if they want to die. As a nurse I would refuse to administer the medication but that is because I don't want to be responsible. As a future NP I would also refuse to prescribe it (for one because I think that's way out of an NP's scope) because I would not want the moral liability.

    As far as suicide being a sin: What is a "sin" is determined by each individual person, and is between them and G-d. No one should be forced to suffer.

    I wish there was a way to make it available to the incompetent also, patients who are in a persistent vegetative state or severely debilitated... I think PAS is much more humane than pulling someone's G-Tube and letting them starve to death... But that's just me.

    What do you think?
  2. Poll: Physician-assisted suicide is...

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    • This poll will close on Jan 14, '15 at 11:56 am
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  5. 55 Comments so far...

  6. 3
    Physician assisted suicide is euthanasia.

    That said, I believe in a patient's right to die with dignity, but I disagree that they have a right to involve another in this decision or this process. There wasn't an answer that matched that in your poll.
  7. 3
    There is an excellent HMS Seminar on this that may be available for download/stream I will have to see if I can find it.

    Three states have legalized PAS and they typically rate in the top states for palliative care services. Oregon has the most experience with this and the data shows that most patients that go through the process never actually initialize it, rather they are comforted by knowing it is an option.

    Personally, I believe in a patient's right to choose. Professionally I would not prescribe it, but I would help a patient find a provider that would.
    xoemmylouox, Esme12, and SL2014 like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Physician assisted suicide is euthanasia.

    That said, I believe in a patient's right to die with dignity, but I disagree that they have a right to involve another in this decision or this process. There wasn't an answer that matched that in your poll.
    If you believe that PAS is "euthanasia" then the poll answer that fits your stance is: Physician Assisted Suicide is "never allowable"...

    So if someone "decides" or "processes" that they would like to end their life and their suffering what would be your recommendation to those people?
  9. 3
    Quote from SL2014
    If you believe that PAS is "euthanasia" then the poll answer that fits your stance is: Physician Assisted Suicide is "never allowable"...

    So if someone "decides" or "processes" that they would like to end their life and their suffering what would be your recommendation to those people?
    The next time you refill your pain medicine prescription, take them all. At once. Or their sleeping pills. If someone has decided that they would like to end their life and their suffering, there are many options open to them. You don't need a physician to take advantage of the right to end your own life.
  10. 2
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    The next time you refill your pain medicine prescription, take them all. At once. Or their sleeping pills. If someone has decided that they would like to end their life and their suffering, there are many options open to them. You don't need a physician to take advantage of the right to end your own life.
    This has been the traditional answer "make sure you don't take all these benzos at once". PI wouldn't want to the the prescriber for that as it really leaves you open for litigation.
    sallyrnrrt and laborer like this.
  11. 2
    Depends on how many benzos they take. I know someone who hoarded aver 150 xanax and took them all at one time as is being suggested. They didn't die-just wound up in the ICU in a coma for about 24 hours. Very irresponsible IMO to even suggest that because the number of pills they have might not be the lethal dose. Same goes for pain pills. You're going to tell someone to "take all that percocet"? Most people want to go out painlessly-I don't consider dying from an acetaminophen overdose painless.

    Very irresponsible comments.
    sallyrnrrt and SL2014 like this.
  12. 4
    Quote from TheGooch
    Depends on how many benzos they take. I know someone who hoarded aver 150 xanax and took them all at one time as is being suggested. They didn't die-just wound up in the ICU in a coma for about 24 hours. Very irresponsible IMO to even suggest that because the number of pills they have might not be the lethal dose. Same goes for pain pills. You're going to tell someone to "take all that percocet"? Most people want to go out painlessly-I don't consider dying from an acetaminophen overdose painless. Very irresponsible comments.
    I assume you are speaking to me? Irresponsible? You made the exact point that I made: patients being forced to overdose on pills is not the "right" way to handle terminally ill patients wishing to die with dignity. It highlights the need for some sort of patient-provider choice in this population.
    xoemmylouox, OCNRN63, sallyrnrrt, and 1 other like this.
  13. 5
    Quote from BostonFNP
    I assume you are speaking to me? Irresponsible? You made the exact point that I made: patients being forced to overdose on pills is not the "right" way to handle terminally ill patients wishing to die with dignity. It highlights the need for some sort of patient-provider choice in this population.
    No, I think they were speaking to me. I'm the one who said that while it's your perfect right to end your pain and suffering by committing suicide, you don't have the right to involve someone else.
  14. 1
    I think the "right" to die can be very broad; people who refuse dialysis or any life sustaining procedures and become DNR are CHOOSING to die on their own terms; may not die soon, but they are making a conscious choice to decide.

    I think that anyone should have a choice to die; I personally have no opinion on PAS, however if there are people that had that option, I would support them, even though it is not available in my state and is considered a felony; so this may not change probably in the next 50-100 years or next to never; but if it was available, I would support my patient; my opinions do not matter when concerning a patient; there's a quality of life viewpoint that differs from person to person; I'm not into refusing to care for someone who wants to die on their own terms.
    sallyrnrrt likes this.


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