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Euthanasie Stop > Should nurses in Belgium dare to speak out?

Should nurses in Belgium dare to speak out?

Posted on 2013/04/17 at 6h46  Categorie Testimonies

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Would these "angels" who accommodate you in the emergency units, when you are failing after a surgery, or cheer up your close relations and dearest siblings, have a word to say? Or should they keep silent "forever" and leave the last word to doctors, undertakers or "scientists"?

They know everything, they are like ants, they work in silence, look after their patients in their deepest privacy, strictly follow medical orders for the good of the patient. They are far more around the patients than the doctor himself and hear them, their claims, their tears, their laughter, their desperate cries sometimes, and also their silence. They are the confidents of your sufferings, either if it concerns yourself or a close relation who you are accompanying.

But these nurses do not have always something to say, or do not always dare to speak and express their thoughts. They are afraid to contradict the doctor "the Almighty" of the service, they are afraid to go against the opinion of "everyone", to lose their job or to even be "penalized" by bad work schedules or moral harassment from their colleagues.

The current debate of euthanasia in Belgium, the document compiled in February in France by the Order of the doctors concerning "final sedation" (yes, let's have the courage to call it as it is, because it is what it means) forces me to write these lines today.

Do you know, dear doctors, how much your patients are suffering, when you only spend ten minutes a day at their bedside? Do you listen to the suffering from the nurse who deals with this patient and who is exhausted, not by the suffering of the patient himself but by the consequences she has to cope with? Are you considering the right value of a human life when you decide that "it has lasted for too long, and it's inhuman" and that you can't consider any other solution than death by sedation?

You tell us that there is nothing more to do, that no more medical treatment can be found for this patient and that, after a long terminal illness, you decide "to offer an easy death to him", with no pain, often not asking for his own opinion, sometimes even without consulting the rest of the family, and generally without even consulting these nurses who are concerned by this patient's illness and who have meanwhile often got closer to him.

They don't dare to say no, they prepare a pump with drugs by thinking that "it is to relieve" their patient, but they know very well that the intention is to proceed to final termination "as soon as possible". They try to justify their gesture, by thinking that they "help the patient to leave gently", that he will die peacefully, with no pain... But they know for sure that the amounts are not always adapted, that the degree of sedation is too deep in most cases and that the unspoken "words" and the "insinuations" clearly mean euthanasia.

Today, I want to be the voice of these patients, who don't always have the possibility to express what they wish. I also want to be the voice of so many nurses acting in ignorance, wrongly enlightened by a desire "to bring relief and look after them until the end" and who may have stolen, without knowing, the very last moments for meeting someone and the possibility for reunification. I want to tell those who are reading this, that a nurse doesn't have the obligation to kill you, even if you ask him or her to do so, because that does not belong to his or her "obligation" to care for you. And I want to say to all the nurses that they do not have the obligation to follow all the orders coming from the doctor, if that goes against their moral conscience.

Let us be free and allow each one to live in freedom!

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