Patient abandonment is defined as the premature termination of the professional treatment relationship by the health care provider without adequate notice or the patient’s consent. This is a form of negligence in nursing with the unilateral termination of the provider patient relationship, despite the patient’s continued need for care. American hospitals do have that obligation, which requires any hospital that accepts federal funding to treat anyone who arrives in need of emergency care under any circumstance. Clinicians who abandon the care setting early, leaving others to take up the common burden, are able to sidestep the problem. Only the clinicians who stay on to the last will have to choose which of the two medical norms they will betray. To charge these men and women with criminal or professional misconduct would be to discourage or punish the very heroism they earlier displayed by remaining at their posts despite the hazards and to encourage early desertion as a way of avoiding censure. Taken together, these pragmatic considerations amount to a powerful justification for withholding condemnation.
Euthanasia requires a second person’s involvement. Sometimes called “mercy killings,” these acts are carried out by one person for the benefit of another. Again, the everyday inclination is to think that, except for self-defense and a few other cases where killing is justified or excused, it is a grave wrong to cause