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Specific Therapeutic Intervention

In: Other Topics

Submitted By olaadeyusuff
Words 7425
Pages 30
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (2008) 17, 236–245

doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2008.00539.x

Feature Article

Whose life is it anyway? An exploration of five contemporary ethical issues that pertain to the psychiatric nursing care of the person who is suicidal: Part one
John R. Cutcliffe1,2,3 and Paul S. Links4,5
1 ‘David G. Braithwaite’ Department of Nursing, University of Texas, Tyler, USA, 2Stenberg College, Vancouver, Canada, 3University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK, 4Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; and 5 Arthur Rotter Somnerburg Chair in Suicide Studies, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT: It is self-evident that ethical issues are important topics for consideration for those involved in the care of the person who is suicidal. Nevertheless, despite the obvious relationship between Mental Health nurses and care of the person who is suicidal, such nurses have hitherto been mostly silent on these matters. As a result, this two-part paper focuses on a number of contemporary issues which might help inform the ethical discourse and resultant Mental Health nursing care of the person who is suicidal. Part one of this paper focuses on the issues: Whose life is it anyway? Harming of our bodies and the inconsistency in ethical responses and, Is suicide ever a reasonable thing to do? The authors find that this contemporary view within the suicidology academe and the corresponding legal position in most western (developed) countries is that the individual owns his/her own body. Yet given that contemporary mental healthcare policy and associated practice positions do not reflect view, this can easily lead to the scenario where a Mental Health nurse is faced with a major ethical dilemma, and the corresponding probability of moral distress. The authors also find that it is inaccurate to posit a simple positive...

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