With knowledge about their end of life choices, people stop worrying and get on with living their final days. Denying people the right to discuss Assisted Suicide and Safe Suicide is not only cruel but also uncivilized. There are several factors, which lead to the complexity, and frequency of ethical issues in the healthcare department, some of them are; increasing stress in the economy, advances in medicine and differing values among the health care workers as well as patients. An ethical dilemma involves a need to choose from several options, which are morally acceptable, or between options, which are equally unacceptable when one choice happens to hinder the selection of the other choice or choices.
Why is euthanasia an ethical dilemma in palliative care? Euthanasia has been defined as a deliberate intervention, which is normally undertaken with the immediate intention to end one’s life to relieve them an intractable suffering. Therefore, euthanasia is considered to pose an ethical dilemma in the palliative care (Wilson, Chary, Gagnon, Macmillan & Fainsinger, 2016). Putting this neither is simple word, no doctor nor is a nurse trained to end the life of a patient deliberately.
I am arguing for the legalization of euthanasia in palliative care as the best practice for patients who are suffering chronic conditions towards the end of their lives. In Australia, the Rights of the Terminally III Act 1995 legalized euthanasia just in the Northern territory. This managed to pass by a vote of fifteen to ten then one year later; a bill was brought before the parliament but was unfortunately defeated by fourteen to eleven votes (Sarmento, Gysels, Higginson & Gomes, 2017).
The paper covers the key ethical principles that govern the practice of euthanasia in palliative care among the healthcare and patients. The research that was conducted about euthanasia and the best practice so far in palliative care (Singer, Leaf, Patel, Lorenz & Meeker, 2017).
Health care workers in palliative care and the end of life care are often faced with a wide range of ethical issues. For example, there are issues, which are related to decision-making, nutrition, autonomy, hydration, and whether to withdraw treatment or not. The National Health and Medical Research Council have outlined major ethical principles for the ethical management of the health workers and patients with chronic and terminal conditions towards their end of life (Murray, Kendall, Mitchell, Moine & Boyd, 2017).
They include, first, clinical integrity; this is simply the basic care of the whole person. Second, respect for persons. The patient is considered the best person in the position to make decisions about their care and keeping their beliefs and values. Third, Justice must be provided to the involved people. The needs of all the concerned people should be taken into account; these are family and the others. Finally, benefit to the person. Healthcare workers should ensure that treatment achieves the patients’ benefit by recognizing the changes in the needs of the patient as the illness progresses (Lee, Hirst & Huege, 2017).
Research has been done and over the years, different governments have been against voluntary euthanasia. However, doctors and nurses have supported the legalization of active voluntary euthanasia only in given circumstances. In Australia, for instance, forty-five percent of the doctors and other health care workers have supported legalization of euthanasia (Greer, Jackson, Jacobsen, Pirl & Temel, 2017).
In conclusion, euthanasia in palliative care indeed poses threat in ethical issues among the health care workers and patients however it is a noble thing to do, as it intends to relieve pains and suffering in patients with chronic conditions in their days towards their death. Ethical principles have been made by medical associations to ensure euthanasia is carried out correctly and fairly. Research is still being conducted to come up with the best practice in palliative care, as some governments and the society are against euthanasia as a practice in palliative care.
Greer, J. A., Jackson, V. A., Jacobsen, J. C., Pirl, W. F., & Temel, J. S. (2017). Early Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Cancer. In The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Behavioral Medicine (pp. 277-296). Springer International Publishing.
Lee, E., Hirst, J., & Huege, S. (2017). A Complex Clinical Intersection: Palliative Care in Patients with Dementia. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(3), S27.
Murray, S. A., Kendall, M., Mitchell, G., Moine, S..& Boyd, K. (2017). Palliative care from diagnosis to death. BMJ, 356, j878.
Singer, A., Leaf, D. E., Patel, M., Lorenz, K., & Meeker, D. (2017). Projecting the Impact of Implementing Palliative Care for Older Adults: What Does the Evidence Support?(FR461C). Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 53(2), 378-379.
Sarmento, V. P., Gysels, M., Higginson, I. J., & Gomes, B. (2017). Home palliative care works: but how? A meta-ethnography of the experiences of patients and family caregivers. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, bmjspcare-2016.
Wilson, K. G.,Chary, S., Gagnon, P. R., Macmillan, K. & Fainsinger, R. L. (2016). Mental disorders and the desire for death in patients receiving palliative care for cancer. BMJ supportive & palliative care, 6(2), 170-177.