When someone asks for your assistance to die: RCN guidance on responding to a request to hasten death – Royal College of Nursing – 19 October 2011

Posted on October 24, 2011. Filed under: Palliative Care | Tags: , |

When someone asks for your assistance to die: RCN guidance on responding to a request to hasten death – Royal College of Nursing – 19 October 2011
ISBN: 978-1-906633-86-8

“Abstract
Assisted suicide generates debate on a variety of levels – ethical, moral, religious, spiritual, political, cultural, psychological, professional and legal. It is an issue that affects the nursing workforce, both as individuals and as health professionals. Most people who are approaching the end of their lives in the UK do not ask a health professional to hasten their death, but a minority of individuals do express a readiness or desire to die. Nurses and health care assistants (HCAs) are often the members of staff that patients, and their families and carers, feel comfortable enough to approach and express a desire to actively hasten death. However, such requests can provoke concern for nurses and HCAs as they determine how best to respond professionally and compassionately and continue to support patients in their ongoing care. This guidance has been developed to support nurses, HCAs, and other health professionals in adult practice who may be asked by patients, or their families or carers, to become involved in assisting suicide. It covers the law on assisted suicide in the UK, as well as the law on advance decisions. The publication includes information on when and why people express a wish to die and guidance on professional accountability and end of life care, with frequently asked questions to help health professionals respond in such circumstances. It also includes details of further resources available to improve end of life care practice.”

Press release

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