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Assignment: Analyzing an Ethical Decision Essay
Assignment Analyzing an Ethical Decision Essay
The article by Stokes (2017) was chosen for this assignment. This article examined an ethical issue concerning the emerging roles of the nurse practitioners in issues related to physician-assisted death. The author explores the roles of nurse practitioners in physician-assisted death from an international perspective. The analysis shows that nurse practitioners in Canada are allowed to take part in physician-assisted death. The author also examines the ethics of nurse practitioners participating in physician-assisted death. Accordingly, Stokes (2017) assert that while nurse practitioners might feel entitled to participate on issues related to physician-assisted death, it is critical that aspects such as the legality and ethics surrounding their practice should be considered. Stokes (2017) also argue that an individual’s attitude towards their participation in physician-assisted death should be considered in determining whether nurse practitioners have a role in it. Therefore, Stokes (2017) recommend that prior to allowing nurse practitioner participation in physician-assisted death, it is important that the issue be researched for its safety, risks, and efficacy.
Moral/Ethical Issues Surrounding the Topic
The issue of whether nurse practitioners should participate in physician-assisted death is associated with significant ethical issues. Nurses have the professional responsibility of ensuring that the safety and rights of the patients are protected. They have to provide
care that is associated with minimal adverse effects to the patients. Their participation in physician-assisted death will violate this provision since they will be engaging in the provision of care that causes harm and death to the patients. Patients also have a right to informed decision-making as well as active participation in their care. Healthcare providers are expected to respect the decisions that patients make related to their care. This provision acts as a source of ethical dilemma in the practice of nurse practitioners when patient request for physician-assisted death.
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In this case, the nurse practitioners face the challenge of either respecting the decision of their patients or adhering to their personal and professional values. The role of providing healthcare to a patient is multidisciplinary. It involves the input from the patient, healthcare providers, and the significant others of the patient (DeNisco, 2019). Therefore, while there might be a need for nurse practitioners participating in physician-assisted death, it is critical that the diverse perceptions and rights of the significant others are protected.
Comparison of the Ethical Issue with my State
Nurse practitioners have no role to play on issues related to physician-assisted death in my state. The state recognizes that issues related to assisted-physician death are the responsibility of the physicians. Nurse practitioners are prohibited in the direct participation on its related issues such as diagnosis of any terminal activity that will lead to physician-assisted death and prescribing patients lethal medications used to achieve the outcomes in physician-assisted death. Therefore, it is recommended that when nurse practitioners encounter a patient who requests physician-assisted death, they may choose to continue with nurse-patient professional relationship or terminate it.
Process of Ethical Decision-Making
The process of ethical decision-making that I will use when used to participate in assisted-physician death will take into consideration the steps of ethical decision-making. The first step will entail stopping to think about the issue, as a way of avoiding rash decisions. I will then clarify the goals of the issue. Further, I will obtain relevant data related to the issue to separate facts from opinions. Afterwards, I will use the data to come up with the options that I can embrace. I will also consider the consequences of each of the options that I identify. I will then choose the best option and implement it (Doherty, Purtilo & Elsevier, 2016). I will evaluate the whole process to determine whether the decision was effective or not.