Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia (PAS/E) are topics that have long been at the forefront of ethics in healthcare. “The Oxford Dictionary defines assisted suicide as a person killing himself/herself with the help of someone such as a doctor, especially because he/she is suffering from a disease that has no cure” (Glasper, 2020, p. 442). Euthanasia, on the other hand, is “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (such as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2021, para. 1). Dating back to the early 1900s, there is evidence of euthanasia and assisted suicide. In both Iowa and Ohio, a bill looking to legalize euthanasia was introduced but failed to pass and move on in the legislative process in 1906 (Brueck & Sulmasy, 2018). Many are also familiar with the practices of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who was convicted of second-degree murder in Michigan in 1998 after performing active euthanasia on a TV news show (Goldberg,2018). Dr. Kevorkian claims to have aided more than 100 patients with physician-assisted suicide. Currently, in eleven of the fifty states, physician-assisted death is legal. In addition, euthanasia is legal in seven countries.
I personally have a neutral opinion on the topic of PAS/E. On the one hand, I feel that patients should have the right to choose to take their own lives. Having worked in healthcare for over ten years, I have seen many people suffer from painful and debilitating diseases. But on the other hand, I do feel that on a spiritual level, it is immoral. Additional information that I think needs to be shared with the public to aid in aligning stakeholders on this issue is more information on how the states and countries where PAS/E is legalized regulate this practice. I feel that no stakeholder would want to sign off on a matter like this and have providers performing these interventions without the patient’s consent or just based on the provider’s own beliefs alone. The most significant roadblock that I see to achieving public consensus on this issue is that there will always be individuals that feel we as humans should not have the power to decide to take life away.
Brueck, M. A., & Sulmasy, D. P. (2018). The genealogy of death: A chronology of U.S. organizations promoting euthanasia and assisted suicide. Palliative and Supportive Care, 17(5), 604–608. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1478951518000573
Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (2021). Merriam-Webster.com. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/euthanasia
Glasper, A. (2020). Polices and guidance on euthanasia and assisted suicide. British Journal of Nursing, 29(7), 442–443. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2020.29.7.442
Goldenberg, Sol, RMA, FRCGP,M.Sc, M.B.A. (2018). MEDICAL ETHICS. AMT Events, 35(2), 59-61. https://prx-herzing.lirn.net/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/trade-journals/medical-ethics/docview/2111598323/se-2?accountid=167104.
Nigeria: Leading in malaria cases
There are multiple factors that are contributing to the spread of malaria in Nigeria. In 2010, Nigeria held the record for highest number of deaths worldwide from malaria (Onah, et al., 2017, pg 79). That means out of any other country in the world, Nigeria had the most deaths from malaria. Why is Nigeria still struggling with malaria cases when other countries have been able to eradicate the disease completely? Nigeria does not have access to the same resources as other countries. ” Ignorance as well as illiteracy (especially among rural dwellers) and financial impoverishment are part of these factors” (Onah, et al., 2017, pg 81). The people of Nigeria do not have the same access to resources as other countries. This is where it needs to be questioned on, is there truly a lack of resources or is it a lack of education to even know what resources are needed to stop the spread of malaria? Farming is a big part of the Nigerian culture. Malaria on a family of farmers plays a huge role in the spread of malaria as well can help show the economic impact malaria has. Take a rice farmer in Nigeria. They have land to tend to and spend long, intensive hours working outside cultivating the land. Let’s say the rice farmer tests positive for malaria. The farmer could die from the disease meaning one less person to help tend/run the farm or the farmer could fall very ill and other family members are having to nurse the farmer back to health. Both of those situations result in a loss of time being able to be spend on the farm thus creating less money for the family. Money is also having to be spent to care for the farmer who has become ill. This has the potential to bring the farmer and his family down in their socioeconomic status (Awoniyi, et al., 2018, pg 355, Fig. 1).
United States: Zero spread of malaria
Cases of malaria in the United States are due to other people carrying it in from other countries. Malaria is not spread in the United States. The United States has an average of 6.1 deaths per year (Anastasio & Farley, 2018, pg 34). The United States has top medical treatments available. There is “severe” cases that are from the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Even with the severe cases, the United States is equipped to handle the situation. ” In 1991, the CDC issued a guideline for the treatment of severe malaria recommending the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria with IV quinidine gluconate” (Anastasio & Farley, 2018, pg 35). That means for thirty years, the United States has been equipped and educated on how to treat malaria, while places such as Nigeria are still struggling.
Malaria is a disease that is very well understood. I do not believe that Nigeria should still have the amount of deaths that they do when there is so much information and treatment options available. I think that the spread of malaria in Nigeria is for a number of reasons, but the biggest being lack of education and understanding of the disease. “Since possession of ITN is not a guarantee for utilization, women in urban locations need constant reminder of ITN use through messages delivered at ANC and radio advertisements” (Ameyaw, et al., 2020). In the United States we have access to google and websites such as WebMD to search symptoms that we have. People in Nigeria do not have the same luxury that we do here. I believe that all of these statistics and case studies need to be shared to shed more light on this issue that Nigeria is facing. People are dying at alarming rates in Nigeria from a disease that is extremely curable.
I believe that the biggest roadblock is the resources and funding. How are we going to educate everyone in Nigeria and other countries on malaria? The United States already sends money to Nigeria to help fight the disease. But then, how do we as just everyday people, know what exactly the money is going to. Traveling nurses and doctors can go to the country, but again, more resources are needed to treat and test the people of Nigeria. Is the money that the United States sending being given to the vulnerable populations who need it or is it being given to the healthcare centers/upper socioeconomic people that already have some resources?
Albert Anastasio and Kevin Farley. Treating severe plasmodium falciparum malaria in the United States: historical trends and current challenges. Journal of Infectiology. September 26, 2018. pp. 34-37. https://www.infectiologyjournal.com/articles/treating-severe-emplasmodium-falciparumem-malaria-in-the-united-states-historical-trends-and-current-challenges.html (Links to an external site.)
Ameyaw, E.K., Adde, K.S., Dare, S. et al. Rural-urban variation in insecticide-treated net utilization among pregnant women: evidence from 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Malar J 19, 407 November 11, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-020-03481-5 (Links to an external site.)
Onah Isegbe Emmanuel, Adesina Femi Peter, Uweh Philomena Odeh, Anumba Joseph Uche. Challenges of malaria elimination in Nigeria; a review. International Journal of Infectious Diseases and Therapy. Vol. 2, No. 4, December 8, 2017, pp. 79-85. doi: 10.11648/j.ijidt.20170204.14
S.O.M. Awoniyi, T.G. Apata, A.O. Igbalajobi, S.B. Fakayode, R.A. Sanusi, B.J. Olorunfemi, S.I. Ogunjimi. Malaria and agriculture : Evidence of relationship and labour/ income loss among rural rice-farming households in Nigeria. Res. on crops. Vol. 19. April 9, 2018, pp. 353-364. doi : 10.5958/2348-7542.2018.00052.9
Please respond to the 2 posts above. Include in your response:
-What similarities or differences did you find between your own personal opinion/beliefs and those of your peer?
-What additional information would like to have regarding the issue?
-What additional information could you provide your peer regarding the issue?