NURSES USE A NUMBER OF MORAL PRINCIPLES TO MAKE SENSE OF THEIR WORK IN RELATION TO MAID.
These principles are important because nursing care of persons receiving MAID and their family can be intense and emotionally costly. Amidst this toll, nurses remind themselves of why they do this work.
The first, and probably the most important principle, is that of PATIENT AUTONOMY. Nurses remind themselves that this is not about them, it is about providing persons with control of their own lives and death.
Second, nurses remind themselves of THEIR ROLE IN ALLEVIATING SUFFERING and the many ways in which they do that. They weigh MAID against other approaches such as palliative sedation or stopping eating and drinking or the possibility of a natural death. This allows them to have some moral consistency in their approaches to thinking about end of life options.
Third, nurses ponder THE POSSIBILITIES OF LIFE AFTER DEATH and their moral responsibilities to life and an ultimate being. Although these transcendent considerations are not typically things nurses talk about in the context of professional practice, it is something they may well reflect on in the context of MAID.
Finally, nurses consider THE PEACEFULNESS OF DEATH and the gratitude they receive from persons and family. Such peace and gratitude are important outcome indicators that suggest to nurses that MAID is a morally acceptable option. However, if the death is not peaceful, if families are angry or conflicted rather than grateful, then nurses may experience more moral uncertainty or distress.