Policy Development

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End-of-Life Issues

The former Task Force on the Nurse's Role in End-of-Life Decisions developed position statements on assisted suicide and active euthanasia which were approved by the ANA Board of Directors in December 1994. The Center continues its work on end-of-life issues through activities with the Robert Wood Johnson funded programs such as the Last Acts Campaign. We have participated in curriculum development and teaching activities for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) offered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the City of Hope Medical Center. We are a member of Nursing Leadership Academy in End-of-Life Care created by the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing and supported by the SOROS Foundation. Joan Laurie, a member of the New Jersey State Nurses Association, is coordinating a series of articles that will appear in the American Nurses (TAN). Contact the Center for more information.

See Ethics and Human Rights position statements

Genetic Advances

In the mid 1990s, the Center developed a publication, through a grant program funded by the National Institutes of Health, entitled"Managing Genetic Information: Policies for U.S. Nurses." This publication provides guidance to nurses as they confront the challenges related to handling increasing amounts of genetic information. The Center has applied (in collaboration with other organizations) for additional NIH funding to develop genetics education programs for health professionals.

Through the Center, the ANA along with the American Medical Association and the National Human Genome Research Institute created the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics. This coalition aims to provide an organized, systematic and national approach to the provision of genetics education for all health care professionals. The Coalition is comprised of leaders from approximately 100 diverse health care professional organizations, consumer and voluntary groups, government agencies, private industry, managed care organizations and genetic professional societies.

Health Care Issues

Using Nursing's Agenda for Health Care Reform as a basis, the Center is tracking the human rights and ethics issues in health care initiatives (e.g. organizational ethics, confidentiality, and privacy, managed care, changing provider mix, health services, for undocumented persons) and the impact on the profession of nursing.

Education and Outreach

The Center maintains contact with the 54 Constituent Member Associations (CMAs) to provide an opportunity for identification and discussion of priority issues within the states and exploration and development of professional and ethical nursing practice. On-site consultation and presentations are provided to CMAs and other organizations such as the Oncology Nursing Society, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics, and the Association of Law, Medicine and Ethics.

The Center has established liaisons with national bioethics centers and human rights organizations. It has participated in developing and conducting seminars and ethics courses for nursing programs.

The Center promotes dissemination of information on issues of ethics and human rights through the website and its newsletter Issues Update and other articles produced by the Center.

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