What would you do as a nurse if cultural beliefs of a client allowed euthanasia for a client who is suicidally depressed?
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Much of this is going to be dependent on the code of ethics that govern caretakers and if one believes in them. The Oath having to be taken by caretakers prior to entering the field and value the sanctity of life: "To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug, nor give advice which may cause his death." This would ensure that the preservation of life is of vital importance. A patient who is suicidally depressed would not justify the taking of his life. At the same time, I think that if a set of cultural values would allow the ends of euthanasia to be pursued, it would also embrace therapy as a way of dealing with the clinical depression a patient endures. There are many conditions in which euthanasia can be embraced. A health practioner would have problems with many of these. Yet, consensus can be gained from asserting that therapy and proactive measures can be embraced with much more ease than euthanasia for a psychological condition.
Personally, I certainly could not help this person kill themselves. I think I could do that if the person were suffering from a terminal illness that was very painful. But not for depression. As the first post suggests, there are ways to treat depression. The job of health care providers is to find ways to help the person overcome the depression, not to simply give in and help them surrender to it. So, personally, I could not help this person die -- instead, I would try to help them find proper counseling and medication to help them stop being so depressed.
Euthanasia or mercy killing can only be considered in very special cases of terminal illness. Even in such cases the ehical issue is not at all easy to resolve. I do not agree to the idea of Euthanasia for a person "suicidally depressed". As long as a disease/condition is treatable or at least manageable, the question of mercy killing doesn't arise. There are various modes of counselling and various medications to mitigate/manage depression. Unless all those options are sufficiently adopted and fully exhausted, there is no reason why the patient be guided to death. A nurse's job is to take all possible care of a patient as per medical advice, to give sympathy and support. The caring company of a health-care personnel can help the patient tide over his/her depression.
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