Instructions: Reply to 2 of your peers below. Must be 250 words or more with 1 References
Review your classmates’ threads, and respond through considering:
Classmates’ Tread 1.
The ANA White Paper is a positional statement recognizing many different views and stances related to end-of-life decisions. In offering an overview, The ANA White Paper does not project a particular viewpoint concerning end-of-life measures but instead addresses the ethical manner in which a nurse handles an end-of-life quandary in light of the Code of Ethics for Nurses (American Nurses Association 2015). For example, when a terminal patient asks a nurse to assist in end of life measures, the ANA White Paper clearly states that a nurse is prohibited morally and ethically to help a patient in any manner to assist/administer a life-ending medication. However, the nurse can provide respectful, compassionate, non-judgemental, high-quality professional care to all patients despite the patient’s situation.
In answering question number 2a, “Where does the Christian Worldview clash with that of the Secular Humanistic Worldview? In reading the book “Called to Care.” It mentions different philosophies. One example of a Secular Humanistic Worldview is the Eastern philosophy’s viewpoint that caring is just of the mind. Another is the naturalist, who views caring as doing what is best for humanity and not the individual. In Christian Worldview, Christ calls us as Christians to love one another (Shelly & Miller, 2006). In the Bible, Ephesians 5:1 NLT states we are to “Live a life of love, following the example of Christ (BibleGateway, 2011). The Secular Humanistic Worldview clashes with the Christian Worldview in that Secular Humanistic is more self, whereas, Christian Worldview is more Christ-like (American Nurses Association, 2019). For nurses, this Christlike characteristic is apparent through caring for others.
Question number 2b asks, “Does the ANA White Paper support a Christian Worldview, the Secular Humanistic View, or another religious worldview?” In reading the ANA position statement for “The Nurse’s Role When a Patient Requests Medical Aid in Dying.” Although teetering on a fine line, the ANA position appears to be more consistent with the Christian Worldview than the others. Primarily by focusing on morally and ethically caring for the dying patient by respecting the patient’s decision, being non-judgemental, and attempting to alleviate pain and suffering within the scope of legal nursing practice (Shelly & Miller, 2006).
Question number 2c. “The term “euthanasia” has been replaced with the phrase “aid in dying” in this most recent white paper. It has been said that “he who controls the language controls the masses.” How does this apply to the choice of terms in this white paper? In reviewing the most recent white paper. The term, “aid in dying,” is a euphemism that is used to downplay the term, “euthanasia.” For example, in 2014, Canada legalized Bill 52 which allowed the term, “aid in dying” to replace “euthanasia.” This change made it easier to label, “aid in dying” as being apart of health care and more acceptable to the general public (Mishara & Weisstub, 2015).
Question number 3. In applying the Christian Worldview to this case study. This author’s response as a Christian would be a Biblical response following the ten commandments, “Thou Shall not Kill (BibleGateway, 2011).” This response would be an accurate response to a difficult situation while upholding a Christian Worldview or stance. My recommendation for the patient is that this nurse would not aid or assist her in dying as this would be against this nurse’s belief. However, this nurse will be there to comfort her in this time of need.
From a Secular Humanistic Worldview, this nurse could not follow as it would be against her belief as a Christian. However, God does not exist from the Secular Humanistic Worldview, and human existence is only by chance.
Classmates’ Tread 2.
Case Study – End of Life
“The Nurse’s Role When a Patient Requests Medical Aid in Dying” is a position statement from the American Nurses Association clarifying the nurse’s role when their patient requests medical aid in dying. (American Nurses Association, 2015). The statement refers consistently to the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses. (ANA, 2015). It reiterates the prime responsibility of the nurse is to the patient. Excellent, non-judgmental, culturally competent, and holistic care is to be provided to the patient both during and at the end-of-life. The statement aims to provide guidance to nurses as they care for patients at the end-of–life. It particularly prohibits nurses from administration of medical aid in dying medication as being ethically wrong. (ANA, 2019)
The statement essentially concludes that, in states where it is legal, nurses can and should provide medical aid in dying if that is what a patient requests. They are prohibited from administering medical aid in dying. In cases where the nurse has a moral objection to providing medical aid in dying, the nurse is justified in refusing to participate if he/she doesn’t abandon the patient.
The Secular Humanistic worldview and Christian worldview differ primarily in the existence of God. The Secular Humanist worldview denies God’s existence. Life occurs by chance and its continuation is without purpose other than to exist. Finally, death is a permanent end to existence. There is nothing beyond the moment of death. A practical repercussion of this worldview is that there is no higher being to answer to. The person who adheres to this view sees themself as solely in control of their life.
The Christian worldview fundamentally differs from the Secular Humanistic worldview in that God exists. (New International Version, 1973/1990). God creates each human. (Psalm 139:13). Each human has a purpose and function specifically designed for them by God. (Proverbs 19:21). Each person’s days are numbered and God-ordained (Job 14:5). The human belongs to God and is fully accountable to God. (Romans 14:8). Life does not end at death; the Christian understands that they will live eternally with God. (John 11:25-26). The Christian accepts that they do not operate or act outside of God’s will and God’s will is paramount – not their own.
The ANA position statement supports a Christian Worldview in the manner with which nurses should treat their patients. Delivery of culturally competent, respectful, and patient-centered care aligns with the way that God instructs us to treat others. ((New International Version, 1973/1990). The White Paper does not account for the Christian belief that life, or the choice of when to end life, does not belong to the person but to God.
The term, “euthanasia” has many negative connotations. It brings reminders of dark periods in history where euthanizing mentally ill patients was considered appropriate by the Nazis. The changing of the term “euthanasia” to “aid in dying” releases the intervention from those darker connotations. It also infers that the patient is in control by using the word, “aid.” This diminishes concerns that the public may have of Physicians forcing euthanasia on patients. Words can be very emotive. They can have a slew of associations that can hurt or help an agenda. Using the words, “aid in dying” brings a far gentler and more supportive idea than the term, “euthanasia.”
The Case Study – End of Life is heartbreaking. For the nurse who has become closely involved with the family it would be extremely important to foster accountability with a manager or charge nurse to ensure an ethical approach to this patient. The Secular Humanistic worldview would be likely to support this patient’s request. Providing it is legal, there would be no reason to deny it. For the Christian worldview, there are many implications to agreeing with the request.
A personal response would be to provide understanding and compassion. Comfort and spending time listening to the patient can help alleviate fears. Additionally, provision of pain relief and the assurance of continued assessment and further pain relief measures as needed would bring assurance. Discussion may involve how the patient views life after death, how she views her status with God and whether she knows God. These questions can bring hope and a light in the darkest of situations. Ultimately the discussion of palliative sedation may be optional if the pain becomes intractable. (Bozzaro & Schildmann, 2018).
Ultimately if the patient was insistent upon pursuing assistance in ending her life, it would be important to respect her wishes and refer her to a provider who may be able to help. It would also be important to truthfully explain to the patient why such an intervention would be against personal ethics and would prevent personal involvement.