November 6, 2019
Contact: Molly McMahon Graziano, MA, Director of Outreach and Education
Ohio Nurses Association Passes Reference Proposal on Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill
Cleveland, Ohio 11/6/2019: The Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) took the lead amongst the state’s health care organizations and passed a reference proposal on Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill. The proposal was submitted by the Greater Cleveland Nurses Association and passed at the ONA biennial meeting held October 11-13 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“ONA historically has collaborated with other organizations, including most recently the Ohio Department of Health regarding rules and communication regarding DNR transitions, to ensure patients receive the care they deserve. An important part of this advocacy is ensuring patients are educated on all of their treatment and end of life options without judgment or prejudice and that nurses and other healthcare providers are well-equipped to communicate these options.
ONA members recently passed a reference proposal that includes the recommended actions of educating the public about Medical Aid in Dying, supporting legislation to protect the rights of dying patients to control the circumstances and conditions of their death and providing resources and education to nurses about the nurse’s role in caring for patients regarding MAID or any form of treatment limitation. These recommendations are an extension of what nurses are ethically obligated to do, which is to protect and advocate for the rights, needs and wants of their patients,” stated Deborah Arms, PhD, RN, President of the Ohio Nurses Association.
Earlier this year the American Nurses Association (ANA) re-evaluated their position on Medical Aid in Dying (MAID). An excerpt of the statement reads:
The delivery of high-quality, compassionate, holistic and patient-centered care, including end-of-life care, is central to nursing practice. Hallmarks of end-of-life care include respect for patient self-determination, nonjudgmental support for patients’ end-of-life preferences and values, and prevention and alleviation of suffering. (Nursing World)
The position statement is intended to provide guidance for nurses on ethical decision-making in response to a patient request for MAID. It recognizes that nurses are ethically responsible to be knowledgeable about the issue and must remain objective when discussing end-of-life care. It also sets forth guidelines for nursing practice. The ANA voted to adopt a new position in response to the expansion of medical aid in dying laws in the United States and their dedication as nurses to support patients and families.
Maryjo Prince-Paul, PhD, MSN, RN, FPCN, an associate professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland worked with a team of experts in developing the reference proposal. According to Dr. Prince-Paul, who is also a board member with Ohio End of Life Options, “In order to change health care policy, nurses are in a frontline role, but we must be instructed with sound data and charged to respect the multifaceted views of this dialogue. Ohio End of Life Options provides such a forum and I am honored to be part of a coalition that promotes a patient’s rational choice to support meaningful death.”
ABOUT OHIO END OF LIFE OPTIONS:
Ohio End of Life Options is the only active nonprofit raising awareness, providing education and advocating for a Medical Aid In Dying law for the terminally ill in Ohio.
For more information visit Ohio End of Life Options.
Media Contact: Molly McMahon Graziano, 330.307.8197, Email: Molly McMahon Graziano, MA