Nurses are often involved in situations associated with euthanasia. Examples may include removal of life-supporting devices, "do-not-resuscitate" orders and the prescribing of large potentially lethal doses of narcotics or sedatives. The result of such situations is that physicians order "euthanasia-like" procedures that nurses comply with. Thus nurses must confront euthanasia issues and related implications for nursing practice from a legal and ethical perspective.
During nurses' shifts, whether they are seven or 12 hours long, breaks are scheduled. The number and time of these breaks varies among institutions but is usually reflected in collective agreements or employment contracts. These breaks are important so nurses can, rest but they need to be scheduled and taken with care. The three cases reviewed below outline the responsibilities of both the charge nurse and staff nurse when scheduling and taking breaks.