Ethical Implications and Obligations to Your Profession and Work as a Nurse

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Description of the topic and related ethical implications and obligations to your profession and work as a nurse The 1973 case of Donald "Dax" Cowart, and the 2005 case of Terri Schiavo reveals the complex issues surrounding euthanasia, right to die, legal guardianship, and patient autonomy. These are issues that most nurses wish they did not have to face, but ultimately must during the course of our work. Nurses are on the front lines of patient care. In both the cases of Dax Cowart and of Terri Schiavo, nurses spent a great deal of time with the patients in their care. The nurse who worked with Dax Cowart admits that her compassionate and caring approach to practice allowed Dax, then known as Donald, to open up and speak openly about his wish to die. In the case of Shiavo, the patient was in a persistent vegetative state and could not speak for herself. Her family members spoke for her, which is why nurses here learn about the need to include families in treatment plans. On the one hand, both cases point to the fundamental value system upon which a healthcare system is based. Is quality of life more important than quantity of life lived, or is the reverse the case? Each person will answer this question differently, based on cultural background and religious upbringing. In fact, religion played a major role in the Terri Schiavo case. The patient came from a religious family, and her family of origin believed that it was unethical to remove a feeding tube because it

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