The delivery of high-quality, compassionate care for patients at the end-of-life is central to nursing practice. Hallmarks of end-of-life care include respect for patient self-determination; non-judgmental support for patients’ end-of-life preferences and values, to the extent that these preferences do not violate the proper human dignity of the patient or anyone else, nor constitute an assault on the person of the patient or others, nor constitute an attack on the moral integrity of the nurse, or the nursing profession; and prevention and alleviation of suffering, though never by means of the elimination of the patient.
In states where assisted suicide is legal, patient self-determination has been legally extended to include a patient’s autonomous, voluntary choice and informed request to self-administer drugs to hasten death. However, the legal permission of one person to perform an act cannot be construed as a command that others bring it about. The American Nursing Association should remain utterly opposed to the practice of assisting in suicide, and should resist any attempt by advocates of this practice to corrupt the nursing profession and the relationship of trust and care between the nurse and the patient.
We believe ...
This petition is organized by the Minnesota Alliance for Ethical Healthcare.
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