'Mercy killing': when is it justified, and what is the nurse's ethical responsibility?

Translated title of the contribution: Smrt iz milosti: njena utemeljenost in etična odgovornost medicinske sestre

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Abstract

A recent suspected incident of euthanasia at a hospital in Ljubljana (RTV SLO, 2015) has highlighted important questions about the ethics of such acts. That incident was reported as a deliberate intervention to bring about death, namely the administration of lethal drugs to an elderly patient who was unconscious following a stroke and it was apparently not performed at the patient's request. If this was the case, such an act of euthanasia would be active and non-voluntary (Butts & Rich, 2005, p. 235). It has been referred to in the media as 'unlawful' (Slovenian Press Agency, 2015), but beyond that, its moral status is of ethical concern. Two key questions nurses need to consider are these: 1) was the act ethically justifiable? and 2) what is the nurse's responsibility in such a case?
Translated title of the contributionSmrt iz milosti: njena utemeljenost in etična odgovornost medicinske sestre
Original languageOther
Pages (from-to)4-8
Number of pages5
JournalObzornik zdravstvene nege
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • nursing ethics
  • medical ethics
  • euthanasia
  • mercy killing

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