Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is a common thing in some of the states where it is legally allowed. But, many people believe that the advocacy of Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is morally and ethically wrong . This paper analyses the case study of a Leukaemia patient Jenifer with respect to medically assisted death.
Introduction Jenifer was a leukaemia patient who denied the treatment because of the complexity in the treatment and the limited anticipated success percentage. She was ready to face the destiny and thought that her remaining time in the world is precious and it is not for spending in the hospital beds just like the recently died famous British celebrity Joe Goody. Though many of her close relatives tried to change her decisions, she has rejected all the treatment options. She has asked her close friend and nurse, Donna to give her some medications which may end her life in order to escape from the painful life.
People have different opinions about Physician assisted suicide (PAS). Proponents of mercy killing argue that it is better to assist a person medically to terminate his life, if he/she is in a pathetic condition and no hope for a survival while the critics believe that nobody has the right to take the life since nobody can recreate it artificially. Even amidst the huge development of science and technology still the mysteries surrounding the birth and death is still unknown.
Nobody knows from where we come and where we go and because of that life has precious value. The creator has certain mission to fulfil while sending the person to earth and only he has the right to call the person back once the mission is completed. It is ethically wrong to act against the will of the creator. “In order to be accountable, nurses act under a code of ethical conduct that is grounded in the moral principles of fidelity and respect for the dignity, worth, and self-determination of patients.
Nurses are accountable for judgments made and actions taken in the course of nursing practice, irrespective of health care organizations’ policies or providers’ directives” (ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statement) Human life is so important and the every attempt of the nurse should be to preserve the human life. Nurses can take any actions to protect the life of a patient. At the same time a nurse should not be engaged in any sort of actions which may put the patient’s life in jeopardy.
In the given case, Donna is not only a nurse, but a real friend as well for Jenifer. Both of them had close emotional attachments and relationships. So, Donna may be in an agony whether to allow Jennifer to die by giving her medications needed for that, or not. Donna was a friend and at the same time, a nurse. She should give priority to her profession and professional ethics in this situation. It is a fact that Jenifer is suffering from severe pain and it is difficult for Donna to remain helpless.
Only thing Donna can do in these circumstances is try to lift the morale of Jenifer using some counseling techniques. Donna is primarily a nurse and she may be attached to many people through friendship relationships. It is not possible for her to assist all the suffering people or the people in no hope condition to die. Her profession is intended for saving the life rather than ending it. Even the doctors, who have the primary authority of treating the patients, often confused and hesitated to engage in activities related to mercy killing even if it is legally allowed.
A nurse has no role in taking the decisions about mercy killing. It should be decided by the patient, doctor and the relatives of the patient. Conclusions Human life is so precious and mysterious so that nobody should attempt to finish it deliberately. Only the creator has the right to make modifications in his creations. Creator should have the right to destroy or sustain the life. Since no human has so far succeeded in creating a life, he has no authority to take it.