Thursday, December 5, 2019

Moral Challenges exist for nurses around euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

"Nurses are conflicted with assisted deaths"
Barb Pesut
UBC Okanagan nursing professor and Canada Research chair in health, ethics and diversity, Barb Pesut, was interviewed by Daniel Taylor for the Lake Country Calendar.

In her interview Pesut comments on the moral challenges faced by nurses with euthanasia. She states:

The question that haunts me is whether nurses have been sufficiently prepared to make an informed choice about their decision to participate, or not, in MAiD,” 
“There is a prevailing tendency to assume that what we make legal is de facto also right.”
Pesut, who recently published a study on why people choose MAiD, commented on MAiD's effect on nurses.
According to the study, there is a grey area regarding the eligibility criteria for an assisted death. This grey area is really the area of clinical judgment. The courts have recognized that many of the decisions related to the assessment of eligibility for MAiD are medical, not legal decisions. 
This has the potential to lead to quite a bit of variability in determining who is eligible to choose for MAiD and who is not. 
The study found that this was such a different death experience for nurses who were tasked with the patients’ care. 
Some of those who were undergoing MAiD looked relatively well compared to those patients who they normally treated at end-of-life.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has been contacted by nurses who are being pressured to participate in euthanasia. Nurses often have less freedom than doctors to decide what they are willing to do and nurses lack effective conscience protection.

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