A study from Lleida certifies the lack of laws to regulate nursing functions in the euthanasia process


The research team has analysed 31 scientific articles and 11 international legislations

The application of euthanasia involves a multidisciplinary healthcare team with the participation of nursing staff. A study from Lleida has analysed the current legislation and certified the lack of laws in force to define the functions of nursing staff in these processes. The research has been published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies.

“This article contributes to the current debate on euthanasia by mapping out the different roles and tasks of nurses throughout the euthanasia process,” explained the first author of the article and trainee researcher at the University of Lleida and the Institute of Biomedical Research of Lleida (IRBLleida), Filip Bellón, who shares the first authorship with the researcher and lecturer at the UdL, José Tomás Mateos.

To analyse the role of these professionals and the legislation in force, the team made up of researchers from the GESEC group of the Faculty of Nursing and Physiotherapy of the University of Lleida (UdL), the GRECS group of the Institute of Biomedical Research of Lleida (IRBLleida), the DOTS-UdL Chair, and the CIBERDEM centre of the Carlos III Institute of Health, has analysed 31 scientific articles and 11 laws in 5 different languages (English, Spanish, French, Dutch and Portuguese) between 1992 and 2021.

The analysis of the current laws shows that few territories have legislation with well-defined nursing roles. Based on scientific research, 15 roles and 80 tasks that nurses undertake during the euthanasia process have been identified, such as initial care and accompaniment, assessment of the patient’s condition, euthanasia procedure and reporting and notification, among others.

Article: Filip Bellon, José Tomás Mateos, Roland Pastells-Peiró, Gemma Espigares-Tribó, Montserrat Gea-Sánchez, Esther Rubinat-Arnaldo, The role of nurses in euthanasia: A scoping review, International Journal of Nursing Studies, Volume 134, 2022, 104286, ISSN 0020-7489, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2022.104286.

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