Published Apr 25, 2004
If a patient's relatives or the patient himself ask u to remove any life-saving devices, would u do it?
gwenith, BSN, RN
There is a vast, vast difference between euthanasia - which is defined as:-
The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment. http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/e/e0244600.html
And termination of extraordinary measures of sustaining life.
Athough this is the dictionary definition there is a growing division about how society views and uses the word Euthanasia - here is a link that explains some of the terminology - note I personally do not agree with everything written in this article
I did agree with this statement though
At no time do we seek to discredit the concept of the value of human life; but we maintain that life must be considered to be worth living, by the person who has to live it.
Edited: Why - been on nights - didn't make sense
of course not- not willing to lose my whole life(jail )over a stranger . But if it was me or my family, the answer may change. If I was a quadrapalegic and had to be on a vent etc.. I would want one of my family members or anyone to put me out of my private hell- I know I could not live like this-but I would not want them to get in trouble with the law, they'd have to be creative. mind you, these would be in extreme cases such as the boy who could only talk by blinking his eyes, and asked his mom to end his life. In this case, it was documented by several different people( wrote a book with the help of others) that he did not want to continue living, therefore, I don't think his mom should be punished.
I wouldn't because of the legal issues associated with it.
In the US, people have a right to refuse treatment and to make decisions about their care (even if it would hasten the end of their lives) if they are legally competent to make those decisions. However, situations like that (in which a patient is asking to discontinue life-sustaining treatment) are usually referred to an ethics committee review, there is often a competency evaluation, and many people are involved in looking at the situation before a decision is made.
If I were at the bedside and a patient indicated that he wanted me to (for example,) turn off his vent, I wouldn't just do it on my own ...
nope,,, not my call
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