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The National Catholic Bioethics Center
The ANA Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board seeks public comment on the proposed position statement "The Nurse's Role When a Patient Requests Aid in Dying"
March 2019
© 2020 by The National Catholic Bioethics Center


A Call to Arms to Speak out Against Nurse Participation in Physician Assisted Suicide 
The ANA Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board
seeks public comment on the proposed position statement

"The Nurse's Role When a Patient Requests Aid in Dying"
Comments period closes April 8, 2019

The American Nurses Association is seeking public comment on their proposed position statement, "The Nurses Role When a Patient Requests Aid in Dying."  The NCBC strongly encourages everyone, nurses and patients, to send comments to the ANA encouraging them NOT to support nurse participation in assisted suicide.  

To kill, participate in killing in any way, or stand by and witness killing, is contrary to the natural moral law written on the human heart and contrary to the code of ethics embraced by the nursing profession since Florence Nightingale. Nursing is a community of healing and compassion, not of killing and corruption.   Let us keep the profession of nursing in our prayers and let the ANA know that nursing should have nothing to do with killing.

The USCCB offers some talking points about assisted suicide here.

The link to the position statement and submission form is here 


The deadline to submit comments is April 8.  

"True 'compassion' leads to sharing another's pain; it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear" (Evangelium vitae,66).

The Florence Nightingale Pledge

I solemnly pledge myself before God and  in the presence of this assembly; 
To pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.
I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.
I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.
With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

History of the Pledge: The Nightingale Pledge, named in honor of Florence Nightingale, is a modified version of the Hippocratic Oath. Lystra Gretter and a Committee for the Farrand Training School for Nurses in Detroit, Michigan, created the pledge in 1893.

The Essential Hippocratic Oath

In the presence of the Almighty, I promise that I will fulfill this Oath to the best of my ability.
Those who have taught me the art of Medicine I will respect, and will seek to faithfully impart my knowledge to those who also accept this covenant and to whom I am a mentor.
I will always seek the physical and emotional well-being of my patients, according to my ability and judgment, being careful to cause no intentional harm.
I will not help a patient to commit suicide, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not help a woman obtain an elective abortion. In purity and holiness I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, carefully guarding my role as a healer.
When indicated, I will seek the counsel of those with appropriate special skills for the treatment of my patient.
I will always act for the benefit of the sick, treating all with professional and moral integrity, with respect and dignity. 
I will avoid all sexual involvement with my patients.
Those things that I learn from or about my patients in confidence, I will hold in strict confidence.
May I be found faithful to these promises and may I enjoy the practice of my art, being respected as one who is dedicated to the healing of the sick.