Ethical Dilemmas for Nurses on End of Life Issues

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ETHICAL DILEMMAS FACING NURSES ON END-OF-LIFE ISSUES BASED ON CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS HELD IN ELDORET, KENYA

Author:
Kamau S. Macharia: BScN (Moi), MSc (studying) Nursing Leadership & Health Care Systems Management (University of Colorado, Denver), Higher Dip. Critical Care Nursing (Nbi).
Graduate Assistant, School of Nursing & Biomedical Sciences, Kabianga University College (A Constituent College of Moi University), . P 0 Box 2030 20200 Kericho, Kenya , Tel +254 722224577, Email: symomash@gmail.com

ETHICAL DILEMMAS FACING NURSES ON END-OF-LIFE ISSUES BASED ON CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS HELD IN ELDORET, KENYA
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This dilemma often occurs in the Critical Care Unit. Profound ethical questions confront the CCU personnel as they watch and wait helplessly. Bogner, 2004 also adds that apart from the relatives the critical care primary nurse bears the greatest psychological trauma.

Herbert (1981) in a radio interview described that its depressing and stressful to see, manage or care for the brain dead patient. He regretted that the society has become less prepared for death and has come to rely on high tech medicine to work miracles…Advanced Cardiac Life Support(ACLS) has become one of the techno age’s primary end –of –life rituals, but it falls short of filing the gap left by the loss of life affirming community and family bonding ceremonies(Bogner,2004). It was also observed elsewhere by (Borgatti, 1998) that family experience of death of a loved one ought to be more binding for their family than disintegrating.

This is a ‘slippery slope’ argument of all times, remarked an intensivist in a recent discussion on Euthanasia. Nonetheless this forum drawn from a diverse audience came together to discuss it in Eldoret, Kenya at the close of The 26th General Assembly Federation Of African Medical Students(FAMSA).

The following questions formed the basis of the conference debate on end-of-life issues; (Lukoye, 2011).
1. Would it be wrong to shorten life intentionally or to prolong it unnecessarily when it is in the best interest of the
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