The Emotional Effects of “Euthanasia” Among Healthcare Providers and Patients Lindsey Dukes
April 25, 2012
Euthanasia is generally defined as the act, undertaken only by a physician, which intentionally ends the life of a person at his or her request in which the physician administers the lethal substance ending the patient’s. On the other hand, physician-assisted suicide is when a person self-administers a lethal substance that is prescribed by a physician, ending their own life (Pereira, 2011). The proposition of euthanasia has been, and still is a large debate between various groups of people throughout the world. Many factors contribute to how euthanasia affects society as a whole, but everyday patient and caregivers (physicians, nurses) are manipulated and influenced by the pressures and contributing influences of Euthanasia, which not only affects their jobs but their personal lives as well. A lot of research and time has been put towards the underlying factors of euthanasia and the pressure that it creates among people emotionally which is impacting the healthcare profession altogether. Many of the research studies that have been done regarding euthanasia have been accumulated by using anonymous questionnaires concerning patients and physicians in various cultures, random surveys on physicians and nurses, research on a numerous amount of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide cases and the physicians report on the case, and how the depression stage in the 5 stages of grief model alters a patients perception and judgment on euthanasia. The substantial amount of research that has been conducted has been very helpful for understanding things regarding euthanasia, but it has also brought about additional questions that acutely concern people. For example, is postponing death the right thing to do or should a patient with a terminally ill disease have the right to make the decision to end their life? Much of the research that has been manipulated has proven the importance of the patient and the caregiver’s relationship and how the outcome of many cases regarding terminally ill patients is affected by euthanasia.
The Emotional Effects of “Euthanasia” Among Healthcare Providers and Patients Euthanasia is a very emotional subject and has garnered debate within the healthcare profession. Research has shown that one of the main factors of choosing euthanasia is depression. Often times, patients with terminally ill diseases become depressed at some point before they die. Depression alters their perception, therefore affecting their ability to think rationally. When physicians begin to recognize a change in their patient’s behavior, this is when it is crucial for the physician to be able to become aware of the certain warning signs of depression. Because of this, physicians need to stay highly alert of their patient’s emotional state, provide a therapeutic relationship, and take precautions to prevent their patient from committing suicide (Taffard, 2011). People throughout their lives aren’t taught how to psychologically handle how to take care of someone that unexpectedly is about to die, so when physician’s are put in situations with a patient that has a terminally ill disease, many uncertain emotions arise complicating the physician’s professional duty and the patient’s sensitivity. Other research that has been analyzed has shown that a large number of physicians and nurses have experienced patients with some sort of terminally ill disease that has expressed feelings towards their caregiver about euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. These healthcare professionals explained that the main things they noticed about their relationships with these terminally ill patients included there being communication barriers, judgments and thoughts about suicide, unresolved grief, emotions, inadequate knowledge, and justifications for euthanasia (Valente, 2011). The causes creating these...
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