DementiaRoadmap

Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Dementia: ethical issues

January 25 2010

This report published by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics presents an ethical framework to help practitioners who face dilemmas in connection with the everyday care of someone with dementia.

Download Dementia: ethical issues report

One of the key messages in the framework is the importance of supporting those who are caring for someone with dementia, whether they are healthcare staff or family carers.

The fundamental principles which must underpin such care are:

  1. All care must be case-based recognising that each person’s dementia pathway is unique
  2. A belief about the nature of dementia recognising that dementia rises as a result of a brain disorder and is harmful to the individual
  3. A belief about the quality of life with dementia recognising that with the right care and support, individuals should live well with dementia and their quality of life should be good
  4. Promoting the interests of people living with dementia and their carers: autonomy and well-being are crucial; existing relationships should be encouraged; the sense of self and self-expression should be supported
  5. Acting in accordance with solidarity recognising that as citizens we are all dependent to some extent on each other. Society therefore has a responsibility to support people with dementia, within their families and within society as a whole
  6. Recognising personhood, identity and value so that the individual with dementia continues to be viewed as a unique human being who should be valued regardless of their mental abilities and functions

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