Oncology Nursing Society Position

Oncology Nursing Society Position: The Nurse's Responsibility to the Patient Requesting Assisted Suicide

end of life, suicide

Despite significant advances in the multidisciplinary approach of palliative care, a multitude of variables have interfered with excellence in end-of-life care. The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) recognizes the critical need for reform and is an advocate for quality care across the illness continuum. The Society wishes to emphasize the caring component of nursing, supports continued efforts to improve compassionate and competent care for the dying, and encourages continued dialogue on any and all ethical dilemmas. "The central axiom that directs the nursing profession is respect for persons. The principles of autonomy (self-determination), beneficence (doing good), nonmaleficence (avoiding harm), veracity (truth-telling), confidentiality (respecting privileged information), fidelity (keeping promises), and justice (treating people fairly) are all understood in the context of the overarching commitment to respect for persons" (American Nurses Association [ANA], 1995, p. 3).

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