The study by Cayetano-Penman et al. (2021) deals with nurses’ attitudes toward euthanasia. The researchers performed a review of 23 studies on nurses’ perceptions of euthanasia. Cayetano-Penman et al. (2021) identified that nurses’ attitudes toward euthanasia were both positive and negative. Factors motivating nurses to support euthanasia included severe uncontrollable pain, the patient’s right to die, and the legality of euthanasia. Such factors as religion, nurses’ gender, moral beliefs, and the possibility of better palliative care set nurses against euthanasia.
The article by Cayetano-Penman et al. (2021) is recent since it was published this year. The information in the publication can be considered current because the researchers reviewed studies published between 2007 and 2018. The article is unbiased because the authors explain in detail their research process and discuss the limitations of their research, admitting that “some relevant studies may have been omitted” (Cayetano-Penman et al., 2021, p. 82). The strongest point is that nursing education programs should include more information on legal aspects and professional guidelines regarding euthanasia. This point was based on the finding that “in countries where euthanasia was legal, nurses were more supportive of the practice” (Cayetano-Penman et al., 2021, p. 80). The weakest point is that it included mostly studies conducted in European countries “because these were available at the time of the literature search” (Cayetano-Penman et al., 2021, p. 82).
Pesut et al. (2020) aimed to review ethical arguments regarding euthanasia in the nursing practice. They selected 43 relevant articles and identified four common themes. These themes included the nature of nursing, ethical principles, moral consistency, and the nature of the social good. The authors found that the first three themes contained arguments for and against euthanasia, while the last theme opposed this practice.
The article by Pesut et al. (2020) is recent and provides current information since it includes studies published up to 2018. The writing is unbiased because the researchers discuss both sides of the ethical dilemma and describe in detail their research process, findings, and limitations. The strongest point of the article is that it provides an updated review of ethical literature on euthanasia. As the authors note, “The most recent review of the ethical literature we could locate was published in 2009” (Pesut et al., 2020, p. 154). The weakness is that the researchers undertook “no attempt to formally evaluate the overall robustness of this body of literature” (Pesut et al., 2020, p. 164).
Cayetano-Penman, J., Malik, G., & Whittall, D. (2021). Nurses’ perceptions and attitudes about euthanasia: A scoping review. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 39(1), 66-84.
Pesut, B., Greig, M., Thorne, S., Storch, J., Burgess, M., Tishelman, C., Chambaere, K., & Janke, R. (2020). Nursing and euthanasia: A narrative review of the nursing ethics literature. Nursing Ethics, 27(1), 152-167.