This Assignment requires that you read the Janet & Mrs Jordan scenario (which has an Original and an Alternative Version) and make informed and reasoned responses to the associated 5 Questions.
2. Questions 1 and 2 require concise and informed evaluation of Janet?s conduct. Your earlier study of legal dimensions of practice (Year One) and your current reflections on ethics can underpin some of your responses here. You will also need to be aware of some of the legal and ethical aspects of the ending of lives in acute care settings: Readings provided in this Resources folder can help you here.
3. Question 3 invites you to think carefully about what happens in the two versions of the scenario. You need to think critically about the legal and ethical dimensions of debate regarding the ending of lives in clinical settings. In particular you need to think about the main features of each version (things said things done and reasons for these things) and ask yourself: do these main features support a change in the law regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide or do they indicate instead that we should maintain the current legal prohibition?
Keep in mind that there is an ongoing community debate regarding euthanasia: this means that there is a debate about what the law should say; it is not a debate about what the law says.
4. Question 4 calls for you to think about the role of advocacy in Janet?s actions in each scenario and whether Janet is in fact an advocate for Mrs Jordan in each scenario. The exercise on advocacy that you will do in your tutorial class will be a useful start in thinking about this idea.
5. Question 5 requires first of all that you read the article by Yarling & McElmurry.
It is imperative that you understand the reasons they give for their proposal that nurses be authorised to write Not For Resuscitation orders. A set of Notes on the Yarling and McElmurry paper and the issues arising from it is also available in the relevant Readings folder.
We recommend that you read these Notes in thinking about Question 5. You need to recognise that the basic ethical issue here is: what authority do nurses need in order to do justice to their obligations to patients?
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