Nurses' attitudes regarding voluntary, physician assisted dying for competent, terminally ill patients

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/148515
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Nurses' attitudes regarding voluntary, physician assisted dying for competent, terminally ill patients
Abstract:
Nurses' attitudes regarding voluntary, physician assisted dying for competent, terminally ill patients
Conference Sponsor:Sigma Theta Tau International
Conference Year:1991
Author:Thorpe, Deborah, MS/MSc
P.I. Institution Name:M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Title:Clinical Nurse Specialist
The concept of euthanasia or voluntary physician dying is among the

most controversial aspects of cancer care, as this patient

population is often cited as desiring such assistance. The purpose

of this study was to explore oncology nurses' attitudes about

physician assisted death for competent, terminally ill adults, who

request such assistance. By exploring such a highly charged issue,

our aim was not only to obtain data regarding present attitudes,

but to raise the consciousness level of nurses and enable them to

respond proactively as legislative initiatives occur in several

states over the coming years.



The issue of active termination of life is one that is even more

difficult to consider than withdrawing or withholding treatment.

In Holland, while euthanasia is still prohibited by law, the courts

have handed down decisions which have allowed that there are

circumstances in which voluntary active euthanasia is not a

punishable offense (Kuhse, 1987). The key issue is seen as being

that the act is compassionate and the choice has been made

autonomously by the patient (Kuhse, 1988). Three United states,

California, Oregon, and Washington, have experienced active efforts

to legalize physician assisted dying. A Roper poll indicates that

over 60 percent of the public support terminal patients receiving

medications to end life if they request it (Risley, 1987). While

there is an acceptance of physician assisted dying by some,

organizations representing health care professionals have

officially rebuked the trend. Statements issued by the AMA (1986)

and the California Nurses' Association (1987) oppose active

euthanasia.



This study was a descriptive, non-experimental survey sent to 2000

randomly selected members of the Oncology Nursing Society. This

stratified sample included a 15 percent subset of nurses who had

identified themselves as working in hospice settings. Data were

collected through the use of a demographic data sheet and the

Nurses' Attitudes Regarding Physician Assisted Dying (NARPAD)

Questionnaire. This instrument consists of 4 vignettes, each of

which deals with nursing activities and beliefs about physician

assisted dying to which respondents were asked to select 1 of 4

possible responses that reflected the decision a nurse would make

in that situation and to offer comments regarding their choices.

Since unbearable physical pain is often cited as justification for

physician assisted death, survey subjects were also asked to

respond to questions regarding the ability to control pain and the

degree to which they believe pain is adequately controlled in their

patients.



Sixty percent of the mailed questionnaires were returned. Data

were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square.

Findings indicate that oncology nurses hold diverse views regarding

the acceptability of physician assisted dying. One interesting

note is that while many nurses favored physician assisted dying for

competent, terminally ill patients, nurses expressed a reluctance

to be the one that would administer medication that would cause

death.



Repository Posting Date:
26-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
17-Oct-2011
Sponsors:
Sigma Theta Tau International

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleNurses' attitudes regarding voluntary, physician assisted dying for competent, terminally ill patientsen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/148515-
dc.description.abstract<table><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-title">Nurses' attitudes regarding voluntary, physician assisted dying for competent, terminally ill patients</td></tr><tr class="item-sponsor"><td class="label">Conference Sponsor:</td><td class="value">Sigma Theta Tau International</td></tr><tr class="item-year"><td class="label">Conference Year:</td><td class="value">1991</td></tr><tr class="item-author"><td class="label">Author:</td><td class="value">Thorpe, Deborah, MS/MSc</td></tr><tr class="item-institute"><td class="label">P.I. Institution Name:</td><td class="value">M.D. Anderson Cancer Center</td></tr><tr class="item-author-title"><td class="label">Title:</td><td class="value">Clinical Nurse Specialist</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-abstract">The concept of euthanasia or voluntary physician dying is among the<br/><br/>most controversial aspects of cancer care, as this patient<br/><br/>population is often cited as desiring such assistance. The purpose<br/><br/>of this study was to explore oncology nurses' attitudes about<br/><br/>physician assisted death for competent, terminally ill adults, who<br/><br/>request such assistance. By exploring such a highly charged issue,<br/><br/>our aim was not only to obtain data regarding present attitudes,<br/><br/>but to raise the consciousness level of nurses and enable them to<br/><br/>respond proactively as legislative initiatives occur in several<br/><br/>states over the coming years.<br/><br/><br/><br/>The issue of active termination of life is one that is even more<br/><br/>difficult to consider than withdrawing or withholding treatment.<br/><br/>In Holland, while euthanasia is still prohibited by law, the courts<br/><br/>have handed down decisions which have allowed that there are<br/><br/>circumstances in which voluntary active euthanasia is not a<br/><br/>punishable offense (Kuhse, 1987). The key issue is seen as being<br/><br/>that the act is compassionate and the choice has been made<br/><br/>autonomously by the patient (Kuhse, 1988). Three United states,<br/><br/>California, Oregon, and Washington, have experienced active efforts<br/><br/>to legalize physician assisted dying. A Roper poll indicates that<br/><br/>over 60 percent of the public support terminal patients receiving<br/><br/>medications to end life if they request it (Risley, 1987). While<br/><br/>there is an acceptance of physician assisted dying by some,<br/><br/>organizations representing health care professionals have<br/><br/>officially rebuked the trend. Statements issued by the AMA (1986)<br/><br/>and the California Nurses' Association (1987) oppose active<br/><br/>euthanasia.<br/><br/><br/><br/>This study was a descriptive, non-experimental survey sent to 2000<br/><br/>randomly selected members of the Oncology Nursing Society. This<br/><br/>stratified sample included a 15 percent subset of nurses who had<br/><br/>identified themselves as working in hospice settings. Data were<br/><br/>collected through the use of a demographic data sheet and the<br/><br/>Nurses' Attitudes Regarding Physician Assisted Dying (NARPAD)<br/><br/>Questionnaire. This instrument consists of 4 vignettes, each of<br/><br/>which deals with nursing activities and beliefs about physician<br/><br/>assisted dying to which respondents were asked to select 1 of 4<br/><br/>possible responses that reflected the decision a nurse would make<br/><br/>in that situation and to offer comments regarding their choices.<br/><br/>Since unbearable physical pain is often cited as justification for<br/><br/>physician assisted death, survey subjects were also asked to<br/><br/>respond to questions regarding the ability to control pain and the<br/><br/>degree to which they believe pain is adequately controlled in their<br/><br/>patients.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Sixty percent of the mailed questionnaires were returned. Data<br/><br/>were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square.<br/><br/>Findings indicate that oncology nurses hold diverse views regarding<br/><br/>the acceptability of physician assisted dying. One interesting<br/><br/>note is that while many nurses favored physician assisted dying for<br/><br/>competent, terminally ill patients, nurses expressed a reluctance<br/><br/>to be the one that would administer medication that would cause<br/><br/>death.<br/><br/><br/><br/></td></tr></table>en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-26T09:46:18Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-17en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-26T09:46:18Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipSigma Theta Tau Internationalen_GB
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