November 28, 2021

British nurses could be jailed for mentioning assisted suicide

Nurses will be warned that they could go to prison if they talk to patients about assisted suicide. They will be told that they face prosecution if they are found to have spoken about any aspect of assisted suicide with patients who go on to kill themselves.

Nurses will be warned that they could go to prison if they talk to patients about assisted suicide. They will be told that they face prosecution if they are found to have spoken about any aspect of assisted suicide with patients who go on to kill themselves. The UK Royal College of Nursing’s new guidelines will remind staff that they may not even mention the Dignitas suicide clinic in Switzerland. The RCN produced the guidelines after nurses said patients had asked them for advice from patients and relatives about assisted suicide.

The guidelines state that if patients say they “just want to die”, the nurses must say there is nothing they can do to help. Similar guidelines produced by the British Medical Association apply to doctors. However, they are allowed to help them to draft “living wills” which could include instructions to refuse future treatment.

Janet Davies, of the RCN, said: 

“We know that there is a real need to provide support to nurses and healthcare assistants when patients talk about or hint at ending their lives or hastening their deaths. There are patients who talk about ending their lives as another way of expressing concerns about their condition or their level of pain. Nurses shouldn’t feel that asking them about these comments is giving the impression that they are assisting or encouraging that patient to take their own life.” ~ Daily Mail, Oct 20

Nurses could be jailed for mentioning assisted suicide
Jared Yee
assisted suicide
end of life
euthanasia
nurses
suicide