Dilemma, Voluntary and Assisted Euthanasia

Dilemma 3: Voluntary/Assisted Euthanasia



Dilemma 3: Voluntary/Assisted Euthanasia

Being part of our society nurse have to abide by the morals, social values and norms that a society defends. The social values, morals, and norms have a great impact on the nursing practice when it come the issue of sanctity of life and assisted suicide or euthanasia. On many occasion nurses encounter challenging situations in their practice when treating patients who is are deep pain that makes them prefer death over life (Busada, 2011). Despite the fact that nurses are in a position to administer treatment that facilitate a quick and painless death for the patient, they are not authorized to do so. The societal morals, social values and norms forbid euthanasia or assisted suicide despite the fact that some legal provision may allow it. The sanctity of life the is emphasized, especial by the social values, religious values and the law prevent nurses from helping patient to take their lives and any nurse who goes against these can face legal action.

Ethical principles and theory can be applied differently on assisted/voluntary euthanasia. The theories can justify euthanasia as well as rejects it (Franklin Springs, 2009). Some ethical theories can justify euthanasia in one instance and reject it in another. Basically, the application of ethical principle is meant to find justification for euthanasia or discourage it. Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics clearly illustrate this. From utilitarianism perspective human action should promote happiness and people should be able to do what pleases them most. Therefore, if a person is in pain, and prefers to die he/she should be facilitated to do so since it is his/her preference and will give him/her pleasure than remaining alive and in pain. Kantian ethic, on the other hand, holds that desire for death is diversion from duty and good will. Moral acts are universal and since desire to die and killing are not universal, the euthanasia is not morally correct since it is not universal.


Busada (2011, August 5). Dax Case 1. Retrieved November 8, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsxaaMbZMtA&feature=related

Franklin Springs. (2009, January 27). The Terri Schiavo Story. Retrieved November 8, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cki55BM42kw