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Assisted Suicide

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  • October 2011
  • 1585 Words
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In this paper, the writer is taking on the role of manager of a cancer center in a small, suburban hospital. The manager is dealing with a lot: The nursing staff has expressed burnout because of an increase of terminal cancer patients. In one extreme case, Nurse Nancy, feeling empathy for a rapid decline in one of the patient’s health (a 30-year-old single mother), wants to give an extra dose of narcotic that could potentially end the patient’s life – and what Nurse Nancy perceives as her suffering. Question 1 Explain how the patient Bill of Rights applies to this case

The Patients Bill of Rights is the colloquial term for the Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities which was taken up in 1998 by the US Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. This deals with a number of areas concerning patients rights, including information for patients, the right to choose a healthcare provider, access to emergency care, the right to make decision regarding care and the principle of autonomy, respect and non discrimination, confidentiality a the way in which complaints should be handled fairly. The bill also notes the responsibility of the patients to take care of themselves. When looking at the potential issue of assisted suicide this is a controversial subject, in this case there is a young cancer patient who has declined quickly who may be asking for help in ending their life. It may be argued that this is one choice a patient may make in the way that they seek to determine their own treatment; furthermore that allowing fully competent patients to make this decision is respecting autonomy. However, the patient bill of rights does not enshrine any right for a patient to seek assisted suicide. They do have the right to refuse treatment which may result in the end of their lives, but for the nurse this is a purely passive position (White, 2004)....

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