In this assignment, I am going to discuss the roles andresponsibilities of professional practitioners in promoting the diversity andindividual rights with reference to my chosen issue (Euthanasia) within ahealth and social care setting. In this essay,I will be covering the learning outcomes and I will also demonstrate thefollowing, such as a clear understanding of the concepts of values, diversity, and rights within Health and Social Caresetting. A clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities ofindividuals (service users), of workers and of society, and of the complexrelationships between these.
A discussion demonstrating a critical appreciationof a current issue within a Health and Social Care setting. What is Euthanasia? Euthanasia is the act of deliberatelyending someone’s life in order to stop them from being relieved of their relevant suffering. For example, this could be considered as euthanasiaif a physician (doctor) tries to deliberately give their patient an overdose ofthe drug on her or his express request tostop their pain and agony. Although euthanasia is forbidden by law in mostcountries, still there is a number of supporting believers who think itshould be legalised. In many cases, euthanasia has taken place because thedying patient asks for it within the countries which allow euthanasia and insome cases, there is euthanasia where theterminally ill patient’s request getsrejected such as in UK. The word euthanasia comes from Greek which means gooddeath (happy or fortunate within death). (Franklin, 2013 p.
6) In most countries euthanasia andassisted suicide is against the law which means anyone taking part witheuthanasia or assisted suicide is carried a jail sentence. A physician has theright by law to end a person’s life by a painless means as long as the illpatient and their family agree to take part (Nordqvist, 2017). -For explanations of Euthanasia see Appendices AEuthanasia and assisted suicide aresimilar but not the same. For example,the difference between them is that adoctor putting a plastic bag over his or her head in order to slowly suffocatethem, or giving the patient who has terminal illness a lethal injection, anoverdose of drugs, such as Tizanidine, Carisoprodrodol,Methocarbamol and this is addressed as euthanasia. If the doctor, nurse,service provider or a family member deliberately encourage the dying person by helping him or her to take what hasbeen provided in ending their suffering is considered as assisted suicide (whatare the current laws on assisted suicide in the UK, 2015) Euthanasia andassisted suicide are both illegal under the English law and for many othercountries as well, which means that both euthanasia and assisted suicide is anact of crime. The assisted suicide is illegal under the terms of suicide Act1961 and anyone caught in assisting suicide could face up to 14 years in prison. Depending onthe condition euthanasia is considered as murdering and the maximum punishmentfor this type of act is life imprisonment. (Euthanasia and assisted suicide NHS.
uk, 2017) Should a suffering patient have the right to request doctors to end their life?The right to euthanasia is a significant topic which concerns many peoplearound the world; there have been many debates on whether a dying patientshould have the right to relievethemselves from endless pain and agony with the consent and assistance ofphysicians. Many people are against euthanasiaand assisted suicide because of their religion and moral beliefs. The othersare for it on this issue because of their feelings, and compassion towardspatients with terminal illness, and respecting their values, dignity, and rights to choose what they want to do withtheir life. Many peoples main concern with euthanasia and assisted suicide isthe competence of being terminally ill or living the rest of their livessuffering, most of the terminally illpatients who are in their final stages have requested their doctors to helpthem in exercising active euthanasia.
In fact,it’s very unpleasant to know that these patients are suffering from being terminally ill and the only option they thinkof is to end their suffering by choosing euthanasia or assisted suicide. (TheRight to Assisted Suicide, 2017) The Law in the UKIn the UK’s laweuthanasia has no special legal potion. The instances describe euthanasia asmurder or manslaughter; however, thesuicide Act 1961 makes it offense ofcrime in taking part in euthanasia andassisted suicide.
Assisted suicide is prohibited by the section 2 of theSuicide Act 1961 and voluntary euthanasia is considered as murder within UK’slaw, since 1961 the law has been reviewed but there haven’t been any greatchanges. (Bowcott, 11/01/2018) The Human Rights Act 1998, campaigners haveclaimed that denying of the right to release oneself suffering from unbearablepain and agony amounts to inhuman, it’s a violation of the privacy and family life (Article 8), counts asdiscriminating the legality of suicide and the dying person’s inherent dignityand their rights to die is violated by the current legislation. The subjecteuthanasia is very divisive and controversial, raises an array of sophisticatedmorals, philosophical, ethical, religious and social issues.
In the UK many of these concerns were aired within the case of Diane Pretty whosuffered from motor neuron disease because she was in so much pain andagony she requested her husband to end her life without being prosecuted forhelping and assisting suicide. (politics.co.uk, 2017) Diana Pretty whowas dying from Motor Neurone Disease (MND) wanted to control the time and theway she wanted to die with Dignity inDying campaign. Mrs.
Pretty’s case was unsuccessfulbecause the House of Lords rejected her request; they said that the right tolife doesn’t include the right to die. They stated that the right to privatelife does not include a right to decide when and how to die. Then Mrs. Pretty took carried her case to EU Courtof Human Rights, Diana argued that the right to life includes a right to choosewhat you want to do with it such as whether or not to carry on living.
The EuropeanCourt also disagreed; they said to her that the right to life was not determined by the quality of life so it couldn’t be interpretedas also giving the right to die. But unlike the House of Lords, the EU Court said that Diana’s right tochoose how she wanted to end her life came within her right to respect andvalue her private life. The EU Court also stated that the ban for assistedsuicide in the UK can be a justification in order to protect vulnerablepeople. (Diana pretty | Dignity in Dying, 2017) The Dignity indying is a united kingdom’s national campaigning organisation and 82% of the public supports the choice of assisteddying for adults who are terminally ill.
The campaign believes that everyoneshould have the right to a good death, including the option of assisted dyingfor the people with terminal illness and mentally competent adults. Many of theprofessional supporters encourage and support the campaign, they also want tosee the law change so the dead peoplehave the choice at the end of their life. The healthcare professionals alsosupport the idea of assisted dying withdignity in dying campaign.
One of the healthcare professionals said that ‘thereis nothing humane by forcing people with terminal illness to stay alive as long as they could, no matter how good the care they receive from the professionsforced into inhumanity by an insufficient law.’ (Prof Klim McPherson, husband of thelate Dr. Ann McPherson CBE. She died on 28th May 2011 from pancreaticcancer and Ann founded the HPAD and also was the first chair of dignity indying campaign) (Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying, 23 Dec 2017)Netherlands wasthe first country to legalise euthanasia and assisted euthanasia. But they haveplaced a strict set of conditions for people who wants to take part ineuthanasia and assisted suicide, for instance the patient should be sufferingunbearable pain, their illness should be incurable and the demand must be madewithin a full consciousness by the patient (Euthanasia and assisted suicidelaws around the world, Thu 17Jul ’14 17.04).
Voluntary euthanasia is illegal nearly inall countries but some of the countries still ban the idea of euthanasia. Insome cases, compassion for another person’s suffering might lead to anindividual to carry a merry killing and take the risk of paying a penalty of the law. Today, the MARS andvoluntary euthanasia for terminally ill people is still possible in Belgium, UnitedStates of Oregon, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Vermont, and Washington. Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands they also provide assistance to both ofthe people who are severely disabled and those who are very elderly and sufferfrom medical problems. The publicopinion in the UK generally agrees withthe possibility of old age rational suicide (SOARS).
In 2010 a ICM nationalPoll of 1,008 of the adults revealed that the 66% agreed and in 2013 a furtherICM was shown that 70% of those interviewed agreed with the idea of old age rationalsuicide. In order for old age rational suicide to become legalised, it needs tohave a very strict safeguarding in place, for instance in a hospital settingthere should be two doctors one of them a consultant geriatrician, making an agreement withthe individual that they are mentally competent and has been carefullyconsidered all of the possible options. Having an interview with theindependent legal expert who has experienced family matters, in order to makesure that there isn’t any pressure on the individual from relatives. Having awriting period of at least two months that’s made between the request and thepossible medications being prepared in place, this should be taken intoconsideration by an experienced healthcare professional. Providing a report tothe central government office, but it’s very unlikely that the possibility ofold age rational suicide being legalisedin the UK (MARS, Poll, 2015 pp. 103-104).In Belgium afterhaving years of debates the law of euthanasia came into force on 23 September2002. Before 2002 euthanasia was illegal in Belgium, the legislation allowsphysician to carry out with euthanasia on the service user, who’s in amedically futile condition or suffering from a condition that can’t be cured(Anon, 2018).
The role that’s played by the nurses within carrying outeuthanasia way vary from simple presence in an individual to the actualadministration of the lethal medication. In general the role of a nurseconsists the primarily in assisting the patient and their family. Within theDutch care homes, the administration of the lethal medications are usuallycarried out by physicians and sometimes this is delegated to a nurse. Forexample, 21 percent of Dutch specialists stated that the nurses sometimesadminister the lethal medication under their supervision. (Van de Scheur A, van der Arend A, 1998)Religion and PhilosophyFor many people, religion plays a big role in euthanasiaand it’s central to their lives. For others, religion might only be significant inrelation to rites of passage such as birth, marriage, and death.
Many people have experienced that there is no doubt inreligion providing them understanding and making their soul comfort forindividuals who are facing death and dying, therefore unsurprisingly religionplays a central role in law and within ethical matters. Another word foreuthanasia is the mercy of killing, nowadays euthanasia is one of the mostconcerning issues within the society. Most people accept such an easy and quickway to death and they argue that euthanasia should be legalised, but on the otherhand euthanasia conflicts, many religionsand could bring negative influence to the whole society. Therefore it should never be legalised and there are many reasons for this problem.
For example,euthanasia violates the religious beliefsof many different nations. Death is one of the most important aspects whichevery religion deals with. Every faith has provided an explanation and themeaning of dying and death, they haveprovided an understanding and comfort for those individuals who are goingthrough terminal illness and facing death. Most of thereligions pay a specific attention towards death and according to most religionall human beings life is sacred and it’s worth protecting or living your life. Thehigher power- people in most religions disagree with euthanasia on moral grounds;they say that only a higher power can decide whether to end a life.
MostChristian people don’t approve of euthanasia and some of them completely forbidit. The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t accept anyone having the right to die,and they believe that euthanasia and assisted suicide are rejections of God’scommand over life and death. Similarly,the same roles apply to Judaism and Islam(Roman Catholic Church, 2013 p. 26). In Islam Muslimsare against euthanasia and assisted suicide, they believe that every human’s life is sacred because it’s given as agift by Allah (God) and Allah choose how long every human should live for.Within the Holy book Quran it clearly states that ‘when their time comes theycannot delay it for a single hour nor they bring it forward by a single hour'(Quran 16:61), this means that the length of one’s life is destined and wecannot do anything to interfere with it. Only Allah he who has created you isthe only one that has the right to end it. Don’t take life which Allah (SWT) madesacred, other than in the course of justice (Quran 17:33) (Bbc.
co.uk, 2012). Thelast two attempts in order to change the law on assisted suicide wereunfortunately blocked by the well-organizedlobbying from Christian organisations andby the unanimous opposition of Bench of Bishops in House or Louds. Unluckilythis is very upsetting opposition because it doesn’t represent what mostChristians want and from the last opinion of polls,it shows that 78% of worshipers support a change within the law (Badham, Rev,Prof. Dr. Paul, 2015 p. 135).
The History of EuthanasiaThe wordeuthanasia is seen in two different ways, for some euthanasia carries anegative connection it’s seen the same asmurder, however for some euthanasia is seen as the act of putting a terminalill patient to death without going through any pain, or letting the patientsuffer from a painful disease and dying in that condition by withdrawing fromthe surgery or medical measures and this is called passive euthanasia. For examplewithin a hospital setting where the physician withholds extreme medicalmeasures with the expressive agreement of the patient. It has been argued that’two dangerous ideas lie just below the surface of awareness… usually, they are not proper to be voicedopenly, there are groups of unfortunate people whom the society may well dowithout and that they cost a lot of money which could be sent on somethinguseful.’ (Dr.
Pollard, 2012 p. 9)In Conclusion to my assignment, I have discussed the roles andresponsibilities of professional practitioners in promoting the diversity andindividual rights with reference to my chosen health and social care issue suchas euthanasia. In this essay, I havetried my best to cover the learning outcome L01, L02, and L03, such as a cleardescription of the concepts of values, diversity, and rights within the health and social care setting. I haveexplained in full description the rights and responsibilities of individualssuch as the service users, service providers, and the society. I have also discussed and demonstrated a criticalappreciation of the current issue.
Euthanasia is the act of helping terminalill patients die and end their life from suffering. Rayfield (2010) stated thatthere are other better choices which could be made instead of choosing euthanasia if everyone wants to create asociety full of care and compassion to help the dying people.