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The complexity of nurses' attitudes toward euthanasia: a review of

nurses are undeniably confronted with requests for euthanasia from patients—often, they are the first caregivers to receive such a request—and this means they are more or less explicitly involved in further care of these patients. disturbing messages like this cause confusion about the position of nurses in euthanasia. the continuity of care and the closeness with the patient place nurses in a privileged position for listening to and registering the patient’s euthanasia request, for determining what the reasons may be for the request, for reporting the request to the attending physician, for participating in discussions about the request, and for assisting and supporting the patient and family. in the first place, this study lends empirical support to the actual involvement of nurses in euthanasia.–11 these studies were considered as primary articles in the literature review. considerations have prompted us to carry out a literature review on the topic. euthanasia among us critical care nurses: practices, attitudes and social and professional correlates.

Attitudes of UK doctors towards euthanasia and physician-assisted

for this reason, too, empirical research that would clarify nurses’ involvement in euthanasia is long overdue. this is the definition that is used in the belgian and dutch euthanasia laws. some insight into their actual involvement in the process of euthanasia would nevertheless be useful when drawing up guidelines for clinical practice. moreover, most authors limited themselves to a description of the nurses’ attitudes and ideas about euthanasia and their involvement in it. after euthanasia is performed there is frequently an interview between the physician and the family—usually in the presence of the nurse—at which the family members can air their feelings and review the course of the illness. central among them are: listening to and interpreting the patient’s request, reporting and explaining the request to other nurses and physicians, and lending support to the patient and the patient’s family when carrying out euthanasia. this makes belgium the second country (after the netherlands) to have a law on euthanasia.

Involvement of nurses in euthanasia: a review of the literature

this research evidence contrasts sharply with the almost total absence of nurses in the euthanasia debate, which focuses mainly on the involvement of physicians in euthanasia. before april 2001, the netherlands pursued a policy whereby euthanasia was tolerated if the physician performing it respected a number of due care requirements. in a study carried out in the australian state of victoria, 36% of nurses had at some time received a euthanasia request from a patient. euthanasie en andere medische beslissingen rond het levenseinde (euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions). voluntary active euthanasia and the nurse: a comparison of japanese and australian nurses. first sight, there appears to be a great deal of literature on the involvement of nurses in euthanasia, but after a thorough analysis of the content of these articles, the number of usable publications was drastically reduced. this does not diminish the fact that nurses exhibit a relatively high degree of willingness to participate in carrying out euthanasia.

Nurses' Attitudes to Euthanasia: a review of the literature - Aug 18

euthanasie en hulp bij zelfdoding door huisartsen (euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide by general practitioners). how can empirical data about nursing involvement in euthanasia be used to carry out a normative assessment of clinical care practice? yet nurses occupy a central position in the care of terminal patients, where being confronted with a euthanasia request is an ever present possibility. greater awareness of and reflection on the specific contributions of nurses in caring for patients who request euthanasia could lead to a clearer picture of the nurse’s role in this care. as far as gps are concerned, there were consultations in 17–40% of reported cases of euthanasia..Qualitative research from the netherlands shows that half of the patients use the word “euthanasia” to express their request. because of their specific expertise and daily involvement in the care of terminal patients, nurses are the most appropriate people to determine, together with other caregivers (including doctors), whether the request is genuinely a euthanasia request and whether the request originates from the patient himself.

US physicians' attitudes concerning euthanasia and physician

the purpose of our study was to conduct a systematic literature review of research studies regarding physicians' attitudes on euthanasia in the united states between 1991 and 2000. further research into the involvement of nurses in euthanasia will undoubtedly contribute to such an understanding. particularly when it comes to performing euthanasia, there is little clarity regarding the actual role and responsibility of nurses. literature studied shows that around one nurse in four has at some point been confronted with a request for euthanasia from at least one patient. a national survey of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in the united states. the japanese medical association’s bio-ethical council suggests that euthanasia ought to be permitted in exceptional circumstances. research brings to light the fact that nurses do not always interpret the euthanasia request as meant by the patient.

Publication: Nursing and Euthanasia: a Review of Argument-Based

terms of the actual form in which nurses are involved in euthanasia, this literature review gives a less clear picture. this regulation allows a physician to administrate lethal drugs at the voluntary and well considered request of patients (adults and children aged 12 years or older) whose suffering is lasting and unbearable. this article, the term “euthanasia” means “the administration of lethal drugs with the explicit intention of shortening the patient’s life at the patient’s explicit request”. fact that the involvement of nurses in euthanasia is situation dependent contributes to an extreme lack of clarity regarding nurses’ involvement, and this is somewhat troubling. the belgian law governing euthanasia says very little about the role of nurses in euthanasia..Nurses generally experience their involvement in carrying out euthanasia as being quite demanding. this probably refers to the legal context in which the euthanasia request is situated, the euthanasia policy in place in the healthcare institution and respective ward, the existing structures of communication, the therapeutic policies, the physician’s specialty, and the institutional setting (such as homecare, nursing home, hospital, and so on).

Nursing staff and euthanasia in the Netherlands. A nation-wide

the study further suggests that the extent and the manner in which nurses are effectively involved in care for patients with a euthanasia request are dependent on a number of contextual factors. the atmosphere of illegality in which euthanasia was situated at the moment the studies were carried out can be a significant contributing factor to this: only in the dutch studies was there an official policy of toleration regarding euthanasia, where the euthanasia procedure was regulated by concrete guidelines with respect to the division of labour between physician and nurses. search strategy yielded 15 usable studies which then formed the basis for this literature review. however, a 1995 law made euthanasia legal for a short time in the northern territory. further research—both empirical and ethical—is necessary in order to provide good answers to the ethical questions raised by the involvement of nurses in euthanasia and to arrive at good clinical practice. the legislation allows a physician to carry out euthanasia on adults who are in a medically futile condition of constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated, resulting from a serious and incurable disorder caused by illness or accident. twenty five per cent of american nurses working with adult cancer patients have been confronted with a euthanasia request.

Exploring the Beliefs Underlying Attitudes to Active Voluntary

of nurses in euthanasia: a review of the literature free. finally, the atmosphere of illegality surrounding euthanasia at the time the study was carried out is a potential source of distortion for the research findings. an australian study showed, for instance, that 5% of nurses working with terminal patients over 12 years of age, and who receive a euthanasia request from a patient, sometimes comply with the patient’s request without authorisation from a physician. by integrating existing empirical findings, this article will attempt to sketch a general picture of how nurses, internationally, are involved in euthanasia (however, judging the permissibility of nurses’ involvement in euthanasia falls outside the scope of this article). of the nurses in a different american study (oncology and non-oncology nurses), 22% had at some point received a euthanasia request from a patient, and the number of requests varied from 0 to 30 in the year preceding the study. keywords: euthanasia, physician-assisted death, physician's attitudes, meta-analysisadditional author informationgeorge e dickinson biographical notesgeorge e. even though there is currently legal regulation of euthanasia in belgium and the netherlands, very little is known about the involvement of belgian and dutch nurses in euthanasia.

Attitudes On Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide Based on

the nurse’s involvement in euthanasia does not refer to the attitudes and ideas of nurses regarding euthanasia or their own involvement in it. ethical debates about euthanasia, the focus is often exclusively on the involvement and responsibilities of physicians; the involvement of nurses is seldom given much attention. like in the dutch law, euthanasia can also be performed on the basis of an advanced directive. this involvement is not at all limited to providing assistance in administering the lethal medication, but includes the nurse’s role throughout the entire process of euthanasia. in selecting the literature, three criteria were applied: (1) articles which describe the results of (quantitative or qualitative) empirical research; (2) articles focused on the involvement of nurses in euthanasia; (3) english, french, or dutch language publications. 16 may 2002, the belgian parliament definitively approved the legislative bill on euthanasia. the role of the nurse in euthanasia: a dutch study.

even though euthanasia is a hot topic, the amount of literature does not reflect this and what little there is has limitations. role played by the nurse in carrying out euthanasia can vary from simple presence in person to the actual administration of the lethal medication. firstly, there is a limited number of basic articles focusing on the involvement of nurses in euthanasia. how should the relation between nursing care and euthanasia be viewed from an ethical perspective? although the percentages are low, it cannot be denied that nurses sometimes carry out euthanasia without a physician having prescribed it. although one could conclude on the basis of the literature that nurses are involved in the entire process of care (from the patient’s request, through performing euthanasia, to aftercare for the family) and have a number of important jobs to do, this study can only partially illustrate a few aspects of their involvement. although euthanasia may be one of the so called medical decisions surrounding the end of life, it is still an issue that greatly affects nurses.

by restricting this study to the actual involvement of nurses in euthanasia, we hope to provide a more focused picture of that involvement..Us physicians' attitudes concerning euthanasia and physician-assisted death: a systematic literature review george e dickinson department of sociology and anthropology , college of charleston , usa correspondencedickinsong@cofc. guidelines concerning cooperation and task distribution between physicians and nurses in the euthanasia process were drawn up by the royal dutch medical association (knmg) together with the national nurses association (nu 91). physicians' attitudes concerning euthanasia and physician-assisted death: a systematic literature review. spite of these limitations, the literature review does provide a number of valuable findings regarding nurses’ involvement in euthanasia..A thorough evaluation of the nursing aspects of the overall caring process framing euthanasia is often not sufficiently present, and sometimes entirely absent. the impression arises that nurses hardly ever reflect on their involvement in the euthanasia process.

Literature review of voluntary euthanasia

the role of the nurse in active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. this law, which permitted euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide under certain conditions, came into force on 1 july 1996, and was revoked after a debate in march 1997. euthanasierichtlijnen arts-verpleegkundige: richtlijnen samenwerking en taakafbakening arts en verpleegkundige bij de procedure rond euthanasie (guidelines, euthanasia for physicians and nurses: co-operation and professional tasks of physicians and nurses in euthanasia procedures). belgië: naar een wettelijke regeling van euthanasie (belgium: heading for a regularisation of euthanasia). in a large number of the publications it was unclear what was meant by euthanasia, or else the definition used did not comply with the definition of euthanasia proposed for this study. from this it becomes apparent that nurses are involved in various phases of the euthanasia process: observing the request for euthanasia, decision making, carrying out of euthanasia, and the aftercare for the patient’s family members. as medical doctors are the individuals involved with active voluntary euthanasia (ave) and physician-assisted death (pad), their opinions need to be known.

.Euthanasia is illegal in every state of the us, and euthanasia does not have a prominent place in the debate on the end of life that is conducted in the us. although these attitudes and ideas may conceivably exercise an influence on a nurse’s factual involvement, they fall outside the scope of this literature review. studies of american intensive care nurses give a smaller number: 13% of nurses have at some point been confronted with a patient’s request for euthanasia and/or assisted suicide. in other words, optimal care for patients who explicitly request euthanasia demands a better understanding of how nursing expertise and care can most effectively be employed in the interdisciplinary care context, so that the patient receives the most humane care available. an american study of the association between the self reported participation of intensive care nurses and their social and professional characteristics showed that older nurses, more religious nurses, nurses working in a cardiology unit, and nurses with less positive attitudes towards euthanasia are less likely to report having cooperated in performing euthanasia. moreover, the district court in yokohama laid down four criteria which must be fulfilled in cases of euthanasia. although numerous reports exist in the literature regarding health care professionals' opinions towards euthanasia and the general public's views, few studies have conducted a systematic review of literature on physicians' views on this topic.

consequently, a nurse being confronted with a patient’s request for euthanasia would not be such an unlikely occurrence..By “the involvement of nurses in euthanasia”, we mean the role played by the nurse in cases where a patient requests euthanasia. to assess the involvement of nurses in euthanasia, this article provides an overview of relevant findings from the scientific literature. his research interests include physicians' attitudes towards terminally ill patients and their ideas regarding euthanasia. ethical debates about euthanasia, the focus is often exclusively on the involvement of physicians and the involvement of nurses is seldom given much attention. it goes without saying that the lack of clarity regarding the nurse’s involvement in euthanasia, as demonstrated by this study, does nothing to help care for the patients. oncology nurses’ attitudes regarding voluntary, physician-assisted dying for competent, terminally ill patients.


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