Health Care Ethical Dilemmas

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Ethics and the Health Care Professions Madison A. James University of Pittsburgh-Titusville In the nursing profession we often find ourselves talking about things that may not be comfortable for ourselves, our patients, or their families. While these topics may be sensitive, it is very important that we discuss them to ensure that our patients have the fullest knowledge to their ability. To ensure that they understand all risks, all possibilities, and all of their individual options. In moments like these, we must separate our personal beliefs and deliver only facts. In the case of all ethical dilemmas, it is important that regardless of what side you might be on, you must try to understand all sides, and although you may not agree,…show more content…
The patient’s name was Brittany Maynard, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. After careful valuation of her prognosis and end-of-life options, she and her family reluctantly decided to move from their San Francisco Bay Area home to Oregon, one of the five states in the U.S. (including Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico) that permits death with dignity (About, 2015). Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act (DWDA), legislated in late 1997, allows terminally-ill adult Oregonians to acquire and consume prescriptions from their physicians for self-administered, lethal doses of medications. The 17-year history shows that death-with-dignity laws are safe and work as designed. It has been thoroughly documented by the state’s health department, investigated by medical researchers and monitored by the news media. There have never been any concerns of coercion or abuse (About, 2015). Death with dignity is an option every person deserves to reduce suffering at the end of life and die in comfort and control. It has been ruled a constitutionally protected right in state and federal…show more content…
This topic is very touchy for those in the nursing field. Not only for us as nurses, but for us as human beings to think about how would we personally handle this decision if needed to in our lives. I personally think that being able to have control over what could be an otherwise agonizing death is an incredible opportunity. I’m a very independent person, and even today do not like having to rely on others. If I were in this position, like Brittany Maynard, I would want to have my last days be days where I am still laughing and enjoying life and the happy girl that I’ve always been. I wouldn’t want my family and friends to see my sick and slowly dying and in pain. I’m lucky to share this view with my parents. We all have the same understanding of wanting to preserve our lives with dignity if diagnosed with a terminal

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