This is a situation that involves the risk of suicide and self-inflicted harm. The client is faced with a great conviction that death is the most suitable solution to her problems. This may have great impacts on close family members that love and care for this client. As such, the decision to end her life should take into consideration all these factors. It may not be ethical to subject close family members to the pain that is attached to the loss of a loved one (Lo, 2009).
The mere fact that her struggle with the disease has called for assistance from her family does not mean that she is too great a burden to bear. Family and friends ought to be there for moral and physical support in times of need. As such, this cannot amount to sufficient reason for her to implement her plan. Furthermore, the use of a gun sounds like a harsh way to end one’s life. It would be equivalent to a sentence given to a murderer. Her state is out of anyone’s control and, therefore, no single person should take the blame or even any sort of consequences.
The voice message is not very ethical since if she truly loves her family she should be willing to spend time with them. This would give her an opportunity to tell them such words face to face and thus solidifying their relationship even more. The loss of a loved one through suicide may also result in a lot of self-blame and guilt on the part of the bereaved. In some cases it may even prompt further suicides. Society also associates suicide to cowardly acts. The whole family would bear both the pain and loss of being bereaved without sufficient understanding of the root cause of the victim’s alienation and eventual decision.
It is actually illegal for her to commit suicide despite her current preferences. The fact that she is under the influence of alcohol may be considered as one of the predisposing factors that lead to an irrational decision. Furthermore, the gun may raise questions, especially concerning whether she legally owned the gun and if it is licensed. A client who is terminally ill ought to receive psychiatric evaluation and guidance to help her cope with the situation (Fletcher and Host, 1995). However, such as such psychiatrist I would be limited as to the amount of information that I can share with any third parties concerning the patient, as is lawfully stipulated.
According to the standards set by society, it would be immoral of me to neglect my knowledge of this client’s intentions. Any future occurrences that occur will be highly determined by how I react to this situation. Furthermore, I should reason with this client and especially show compassion and care to her. Over and above this, I should ensure I follow up on the claims of possession of a gun. This might even prevent occurrence of unforeseen circumstances prior to the planned main event. The dilemma would arise as to whether I should respect the client’s legal right of privacy or whether I should make sure I inform close family members to aid in preventing the client from committing suicide (Markovits, 2008). This is where the balance between respect for the law and respect for human life is put to the test.
Fletcher, N., & Holt, J. (1995). Ethics, law, and nursing Manchester: Manchester University
Markovits, D. (2008). A modern legal ethics: Adversary advocacy in a democratic age.
Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.
Lo, B. (2009). Resolving ethical dilemmas: A guide for clinicians. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer
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