Nursing involvement in euthanasia: a ‘nursing‐as‐healing‐praxis’ approach

Nursing Philosophy 8 (3):176-186 (2007)
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In an earlier article, it was found that the terms of preference utilitarianism are insufficiently sound for guiding nursing activity in general, including in relation to nursing involvement in euthanasia. In this article, I shall examine the terms of a more traditional philosophical approach in order to determine the moral legitimacy, or otherwise, of nursing engagement in measures intended to end the lives of patients. In attempting this task, nursing practice is considered in light of what I shall call a ‘nursing‐as‐healing‐praxis’ approach which includes an account of the moral purpose of nursing and the virtues necessary for realizing that purpose. Ultimately, it is concluded that the terms of this approach rule out the involvement of nurses in euthanasia such that if euthanasia can be justified at all, those outside the nursing profession must provide for its administration.



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Helen McCabe
University of Nottingham

References found in this work

After virtue: a study in moral theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1981 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
The virtues in medical practice.Edmund D. Pellegrino - 1993 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by David C. Thomasma.

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