Nursing Perspectives on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

Betty R. Ferrell, Lynne M. Rivera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As primary caregivers across settings, nurses are challenged to provide compassionate care to terminally ill patients and their families. The issue of assisted suicide and euthanasia creates unique challenges for the nursing profession. Previous literature related to nurses’ attitudes regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide is reviewed in this discussion of the issues central to nursing. These issues include ethical dimensions of nursing care, nursing attitudes regarding suicide, and nurses’ unique roles with patients and family caregivers. The unique role of the nurse and professional obligations of the nursing profession are pivotal in addressing this important social issue. [Article copies available from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Care in Pain & Symptom Control
Issue number4 --Mar
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Nursing
  • assisted suicide
  • attitudes of nurses
  • caring
  • ethics
  • euthanasia
  • home care
  • physician-assisted dying
  • suffering
  • terminal illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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