Nursing and MAiDNancy Robertson, DNP Jan 25, 2022
On a human level, I believe all people understand and wish to support the alleviation of unnecessary suffering of their fellow mankind. Time and again I hear people share their perceptions that we are more humane with our animals at end of life than we are with people. As a palliative care nurse practitioner, this perception feeds my continued passion to alleviate suffering. In this context, it has been interesting to watch Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) continue to grow politically and clinically. As it comes more easily into practice, I wonder how my non-palliative care nursing colleagues view this tool.Dr. Davidson and colleagues conducted a large study investigating the values and perspectives of nurses as it pertains to MAiD. Utilizing a cross-sectional electronic survey, they asked a sampling of nurses in the American Nurses Association for their thoughts on MAiD. They found that 86% would care for patients contemplating MAiD. Yet this statistic dropped to 67% of those who would provide care during the act of MAiD. This is an interesting change that leads me to wonder why. Is it a lack of knowledge and comfort about the dying process from MAiD? Does caring for someone who takes the lethal preparation raise internal struggles within the nurse? Or is it something else? The investigators also found that 49% of the nursing sampled support the concept of MAiD for themselves while this statistic rose to 57% who would support the concept for their patients. Again, more questions. What are these statistics revealing? I will be anxiously awaiting more evidence in this area and appreciate the ground-setting work of these authors.
Davidson, Judy E. DNP, RN, FAAN; Bojorquez, Genesis PhD, RN, NE-BC; Upvall, Michele PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN; Stokes, Felicia JD, MA, RN; Bosek, Marcia Sue DeWolf DNSc, RN; Turner, Martha PhD, RN-BC, FAAN; Lee, Young-Shin PhD, RN Nurses' Values and Perspectives on Medical Aid in Dying, Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: February 2022 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 5-14 doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000820