Next up is another state looking to join Washington state in the efforts to afford patients a death with dignity on their own terms and not at the whims of a selfish healthcare system. Maine is considering “death with dignity legislation” in the current legislative session and could become law soon if passed.

Terminally Ill Patients Get Release

death-dying-gravestoneRepublican state senator Roger Katz submitted the bill that reflects similar legislation passed in Vermont a few years back. The bill would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal medication dose to terminally ill patients who wish to die on their own terms and schedule.

There are currently six states in the U.S. that have these types of laws on the books. Curiously, the bill is opposed by both the Maine Medical Association and the American Nurses Association of Maine. I get the physicians opposing it. Patients who live longer can be billed for services longer. Dead patients earn no fees but the nurses should be more compassionate about end of life care.

Some opponents fear that patients will opt for death rather than incur financial or other burdens for their families. I guess that’s valid but what’s wrong with that? If we’re going to make decisions about healthcare, we have to acknowledge the whole patient and that includes their financial picture and support network.

If someone choses not to waste their family resources in a heroic and hopeless effort to keep them alive a little longer with little quality of life, that should be their choice. As long as they are making an informed decision, I see no problem with it.

What do you think? I’m sure you have an opinion so let’s have at it! Leave a comment for me on social media or on this article page at NursingShow.com. I look forward to discussing this further with you!

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Safer Patient Ambulation with Nezzie and Episode 352.

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