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Assisted Suicide Essay

1354 words - 6 pages

Assisted Suicide
1. Explain how the Patient Bill of Rights applies to this case.
Nurse Nancy is violating the Patient Bill of Rights because Mrs. Jones did not make her own decision to end her life as a form of treatment. Mrs. Jones has the right to be involved in every aspect of treatment and can refuse treatment at any time. The patient is expecting reasonable continuity of care even though she might die. The patient’s doctor is supposed to inform Mrs. Jones if her condition is worsening and if she needs to seek different treatment options. Nurse Nancy did not ask the patient if she wanted to die, she just assumed because the patient is very ill that she may want to end her ...view middle of the document...

Finally, there is a potential for abuse by patients that want assisted suicide. Some patients might consider this option as a way to end their life if they are depressed, lacking access to care and support. Medical expenses for terminally ill patients can be expensive, especially depending on the treatment options that the patient chooses. “Burden family members and patients may choose assisted suicide as a cost-containment strategy. This is why assisted suicide needs to remain illegal because people will be using the hospital as a place to go to die and not get help” (2008).
3. Identify and explain at least three legal considerations.
Currently in the 2009 article, Oregon and Washington are the only states where assisted suicide is legal; other states have considered assisted suicide a crime. In November 1994, Oregon voters approved a law to let physicians give a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill patients. Also, Washington State has the same law that went into effect on March 5th, 2009. In this case, Nurse Nancy is a third party administering a narcotic to end Mrs. Jones life, this is a crime. Euthanasia is illegal in all states including Oregon and Washington. However, if Nurse Nancy was supplying Mrs. Jones with the medication and she was to administer it to herself then she would not be charged with a crime.
Secondly, if Mrs. Jones did not inform Nurse Nancy that she wants to die and she kills her, Nurse Nancy can be charged with a crime of murder. Especially if there is evidence that the patient was competent and wanted to live. The patient is a single mom and may not want to die with no one to care of her child. Also, she would cause her manager and the facility to be liable for any negligence on her part due to the respondeat superior law. The doctrine of respondeat superior is also called the master-servant relationship. “That is, an employer can be liable for the negligence of an employee, who injures someone as a result of their employment, even though the employer did nothing wrong” (Showalter, 2008,p.67).
The last legal consideration is, if Mrs. Jones informed the nurse that she wanted to commit suicide, and then she would not be criminally liable. “A health care provider cannot be held liable for honoring a competent adult’s wishes to forgo treatment or withdraw from ongoing treatment, even when the decision will lead to death” (Showalter, 2008,p.257). However, Nurse Nancy would need to inform her manager so that a written acknowledgement of refusal can be placed in Mrs. Jones medical records. This written consent releases the medical staff from liability.
4. Identify and explain at least three business considerations.
Cancer centers are known to help patients overcome cancer by encouraging and empowering each patient to be part of the healing...

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