Over treatments. Overall this states that patientsOver treatments. Overall this states that patients

Over the years patients have become more invested in their healthcare and on the process of healing their bodies. People have taken more account that they have a lot more rights than they initially believed. Prior to 1960, patients were less likely to obtain and discuss health information. This was until The American Medical Association created a code of medical ethics. The code included that the patient has a right to obtain and discuss health information which related to the benefits, risks and costs of treatments. Overall this states that patients can make decisions which pertain to their health. The patient has the right to an adequate health care, confidentiality, the right to refuse treatment. Historically, nurses have played a key role in caring for patients across multiple healthcare settings. Nurses provide expert care throughout their careers. They contribute to the spiritual needs of patients and families, and which they are there to help achieve the optimal recovery to any health problems.  As a specific example, this paper will look at euthanasia. The topic of patient’s rights becomes a bit challenging when euthanasia is introduced. Euthanasia is an act which painlessly puts an end to a persons suffering from painful and incurable disease which allows them to die by, withholding a certain treatment or withdrawing from life support (Britannica). Euthanasia is a divisive topic, and has different interpretations of its meaning, depending on whether the person supports it or not. A strong ethical argument against the use of euthanasia is that euthanasia will become a form of  rejection of importance and value towards human life. On the other side of the debate, there is a strong argument that people should have the right to terminate their lives, whenever, and however they may wish. In the nursing field, these circumstances become hard to comprehend. It’s up to the healthcare providers to take into consideration the needs and wants of the patients while still maintaining a core to their professions morals. In ethical debates about euthanasia the focus is usually on the involvement of doctors, meaning  nurses aren’t given much thought at all. Yet, this topic is one that greatly affects nurses. Nurses are the ones at the bedside of the dying for 24 hours a day, every day. Nurses are there for their patients, assessing, managing pain, and other symptoms. They are there for the patients and their families addressing their spiritual needs, their anxieties, and their questions. And surely enough in these forms of cases, a nurse has their own moral obligation to respect individual autonomy without infringing upon the rights of others. Even though it may seem as a small isolated problem within the medical field, it is related to a bigger problem such as protecting individual rights. As stated in the Constitution, we are guaranteed life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Therefore, it would seem as a contradiction to prevent someone’s pursuit of happiness that involves the ending of their own life. A nurse should respect the person’s free will and rationality because they should have a right to determine their own medical treatment which could include euthanasia. Currently in the United States this practice is illegal. The American Nurses Association prohibits nurse’s participation in assisted suicide and especially euthanasia. These acts are in direct violation of the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements and if they are to be violated the nurse could potentially lose their license (ANA) . If the patient chooses euthanasia and it is against the nurses beliefs, the nurse still has an obligation to provide a compassionate, care which includes comfort and the alleviation of suffering and pain.Although the nurse may know the restrictions and prohibitions of euthanasia, it still doesn’t decrease the stress and conflict a nurse may feel when confronted with a patient’s request. Nurses may find themselves in difficult clinical situations and experience the personal and professional tension and uncertainty surrounding these hard decisions. The reality is that witnessing any form of human suffering and pain cannot be easy. Some may argue that when a person chooses euthanasia it is seen as morally inhumane but it is considered humane to put animals that are permanently physically impaired to death, and they don’t even have the free will like humans do. When nurses are placed in these strenuous conditions, no one ever talks about how nurses feel. According research done by Casterlé in regards to how nurses saw euthanasia, majority of them believed that their place was just to be there for the patient, the patient’s family and being there by the side of the physician. Nurses stated that they received the request of euthanasia with an open mind,, meaning they took the request seriously. They explained that they would listen to the reasons of the patient to unravel why they wanted it.  By listening and finding out the reasons behind the request, nurses were able to deal with the specific issues that had possibly had led to the request. Some nurses explained that certain patients had improperly requested for euthanasia, which had originated from suffering that could have been alleviated by a different procedure (Casterlé). Many also noticed that by offering palliative care alternatives, the requests for euthanasia were withdrawn and deaths that were unnecessary were avoided. Most often these forms of requests are made out of ignorance, so it is important for a nurse to receive it with an open mind because they can provide a form of relief, making it possible to speak about it and also provide a source of hope and reassurance. Different people cope with pain differently so it’s important as a healthcare provider to treat each case with care and sincerity. Cases such as the Charlie Gard Case bring awareness and arise questions around the right to life and the right of doctors or relatives to say when life should end is the Baby Charlie Gard case. Charlie Gard was diagnosed with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome which caused him to have muscles weakness and loss of motor skills. As his condition progressed, baby Charlie became weaker, leaving him to lose his ability to move his arms or legs and leaving him not able to breathe without a ventilator. Charlie’s parents had found a doctor in New York who specialized in myopathies and other neuromuscular diseases. His parents raised the money to be able to bring him for treatment in the United States, but the hospital stepped in and opposed their effort, stating that it was not in the best interest of their patient. Since the hospital and the parents were unable to agree, so the hospital went to court to have a judge decide, hoping to remove baby Charlie from life support. The court ruled that in the infant’s best interest that his treating clinicians to remove the ventilator that was keeping him alive (CNN). This specific case raised multiple questions as to how and who gets to choose when someone’s life should end. Doctors will argue that, of course letting go of a child is seen as very difficult, but at the same time it is important because when there isn’t much left one can do for the patient, the best option is to let go. A parent obviously doesn’t want to hear those words come from a nurse, a doctor or anyone really because they are fighting for the last piece of hope they can find. From the perspective of a parent, they’ll fight until the very last moment to allow their child to live, grasping unto any form of hope that they have, that their child will get better or that there is something that can potentially cure them. Where as a nurse or doctor may know that there isn’t left for them to do and although no person in the medical field wants to lose their patient, their best option is to terminate their life. Running out of choices for a patient can be a difficult circumstance anyone in the medical field experiences. But of course since nurses are able to gain insight into the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions of the patient’s suffering (Casterlé).  It ensures that the euthanasia decision making process is not based on a one sided interpretation of the situation and is chosen because sadly there isn’t another choice for them. Although a patient may choose euthanasia as a way out of their pain, the patient will know that the doctors, and nurses tried their best to make sure that any treatment that could have alleviated their pain was given. Nurses have  an important role in caring for patients seeking euthanasia. This role was by no means believed to be limited to assisting the physician during administration of life terminating drugs. A nurse’s involvement begins at the moment their patient formulated a euthanasia request, whether it was implicitly or explicitly,  and ended after the potential life terminating act, a time when they felt a need to offer support to the patient’s relatives. Topics, like this never get easy to understand because there are so many spectrums that need to be understood. Overall, the role of a nurse is to take care of the patient and help them through it all till the very end, regardless of how their life ends. A nurse it to respect the patient’s choice because at the end of the day it is the patient’s right to choose for themselves.