Dutch nurses' attitudes towards euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide

Nursing Ethics 15 (2):186-198 (2008)

Abstract
This article presents the attitudes of nurses towards three issues concerning their role in euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. A questionnaire survey was conducted with 1509 nurses who were employed in hospitals, home care organizations and nursing homes. The study was conducted in the Netherlands between January 2001 and August 2004. The results show that less than half (45%) of nurses would be willing to serve on committees reviewing cases of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. More than half of the nurses (58.2%) found it too far-reaching to oblige physicians to consult a nurse in the decision-making process. The majority of the nurses stated that preparing euthanatics (62.9%) and inserting an infusion needle to administer the euthanatics (54.1%) should not be accepted as nursing tasks. The findings are discussed in the context of common practices and policies in the Netherlands, and a recommendation is made not to include these three issues in new regulations on the role of nurses in euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide
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DOI 10.1177/0969733007086016
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