ETHICAL BUT ILLEGAL 3
Itis important to note that, legality does not determine ethics.Although, legality and ethics have the same objectives, they oftendiffer. In theory, laws apply equally to all people in the society.However, ethics apply only to those people in the society whoidentify with a particular group of people sharing the same beliefs,practices and abide by set standards of behavior and principles.Medical professional are a good example of a group of people governedby ethics (Ebrahimi, 2012). It is notable that during my practice asa nurse, I have encountered a number of issues which some of whichare either ethical and illegal or unethical and legal issues.
Thishappened in 2013 when PeterMartins, a 70 years old man, who was suffering from stage4 throat cancer, requested to undergo euthanasia. As nurse in charge,I noted the old man was in deep pain, a factor which had alsonegatively affected tow of his sons who were in college. This wasalso aggravated by his advanced age. After a series of meetingsbetween the patient’s family members and hospital leaders,euthanasia was carried out on late 2013. To me, this case was ethicalbut illegal. According to Ebrahimi (2012), euthanasia is ethical asit relieves a terminally-ill person of pain and suffering. Moreover,assisting a terminally-ill person to die is ethical due to the factthat it relieves the pain that the loved ones go through day in dayout. However, our state has not declared euthanasia legal, pointingout that it is impossible to regulate the practice (George, Finlay &Jeffrey, 2005). Thus, conducting euthanasia on Peter Martins withinour state was ethical and illegal.
EbrahimiN. (2012). Theethics of euthanasia.Retrieved from: http://www.amsj.org/archives/2066
GeorgeR. J., Finlay I.G. & Jeff rey D. (2005). Legalised euthanasiawill violate the rights of vulnerable patients. BMJ.24331(7518):684-5.
Rollin,B. E. (2009). Ethics and euthanasia. TheCanadian Veterinary Journal,50(10),1081.