Discuss Ethical issues in the care of people with Dementia.

Discuss Ethical issues in the care of people with Dementia.
Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay

Healthcare Ethics Research Paper

Overview

The significant upsurge in the number of research cases that revolve around mental illnesses is a vivid indication of the changes that have plagued the medical industry. The soaring levels of diseases such as dementia, psychosis and even Alzheimer’s can largely be attributed to the rapid transformation and change in lifestyle that has caused many people to suffer from stress and depression. These ailments does not seen to discriminate based on age and instead attack the old, young and elderly. The latter seem to be most affected with the burden of caring for these patients falling on the members of their immediate families. Mental diseases such as dementia are known to disrupt the sense of selfhood and identity of the person or patient. The side effects that people suffer from are not the sole concerns of dementia, but also ethical issues as well Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay.

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This is because there has been a lot of conflict and differences in opinion regarding the modes of treatment for this condition and the manner in which the victims are handled while under hospital care. Further, the inability to make autonomous decisions by themselves as well as occasional incapacitation are some of the reasons that have led to the creation of ethical dilemmas in dementia patients. There is no clear-cut way that is normally proposed on how the victims of this mental condition should be handled or how care should be given to them. This paper is a comprehensive essay that discusses the ethical issues that arise when it comes to caring for people with dementia.

Topic chosen for the Essay

Ethical issues in the care of people with Dementia.

Body of the Essay

Bioethical analysis of the topic
The exploration of the relationship and connection that exists between human values and biological sciences is what constitutes bioethics. The latter is a fairly new area of study that seeks to give a detailed understanding and attention to how people suffering from certain diseases are treated whenever new technology is introduced in the market[1]. Ethical issues are always known to arise whenever there is a huge conflict between what people believe are social norms and what the medical fraternity thinks is right. Bioethical issues in dementia normally arise due to the fact that the patients suffer from severe mental loss and impairment of their intellectual abilities[2]. What’s more, dementia is a mental illnesses that are mainly characterized by the gradual loss of memory and brain functions. Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay.

It is this negative impact of the disease that largely interferes with the daily functioning of an individual such that they become dependent on other people to help them carry on with life. This senile kind of mental state is considered by many as an inevitable part of the ageing process because of the increase in number of people that suffer from it. It is also indisputable that the patients that suffer from a dementia-related illness are prone to experience a disruption in their selfhood and identity[3]. This has direct consequences on the cognitive ability of an individual such that they become unable to execute simple tasks such as dressing or even grooming well.

It is these inabilities that make the person totally dependent on others to feed them, clothe them and even take them around. Hence, some people feel that dementia patients should be treated in a different way so as to ease the pain that comes with relying heavily on others and even the severe side effects of the disease. There are several bioethical issues that revolve around the care given to dementia patients and the three common ones are physician assisted death, competence in decision making and conflict of interest between doctors and family members when it comes to palliative care at the end of life stage.

Physician assisted suicide or euthanasia revolves around helping patients to die in an honorable and painless way so as to relieve them of the pain that comes with the disease[4]. This is one of the weighty bioethical issues in dementia patients since most people feel that it conflicts between cherishing human life and science. On one hand, people argue that dementia is a progressive disease whose symptoms become worse such that they totally destroy one’s personality and their behavior[5]. In the later stages of the disease, the person losses a significant part of their memory such that they become too forgetful and cannot recognize family members, their spouses or even their friends Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay.

This mental condition also makes the person feel lost in their own mind as they can no longer have a grip on their selfhood or self-identity. On the other hand, other people feel that as long as the dementia patient has a person to care for them, then they should not consider the option of cutting their lives short through euthanasia[6]. Additionally, physician assisted suicide becomes a bioethical issue since most people are not in agreement of taking away the life of a human being. However, others feel that the disease causes slow disintegration and the situation gets worse as the disease develops[7]. Further, the diagnosis of dementia comes with the alert and acknowledgement that the condition has very minimal chances of getting better.

The discussion on euthanasia and ethics is centered on the notion that there is sanctity in life and every person has the right to live it to completion. Moreover, no person has the power to oppose a natural process and they should instead value their very sacred existence[8]. On the other hand, it is argued that euthanasia helps people relieve their pain, discomfort and even shame that comes with losing all their mental and intellectual abilities. What’s more, it allows them to stop suffering from the side effects of the illness and even the over reliance on people to dress, feed and even carry them around.

Physician assisted suicide in patients with dementia is a bioethical concern since it constantly challenges the process of nature and it interferes with the cycle of life[9]. The value of life lies in knowing that a person is born and allowed to live to the fullest and their death should only happen through natural causes. Hence, most ethical experts believe that there should be no death that should be made to occur through the form of a medical treatment like in the case of euthanasia[10]. In as much as doctors have a role to play at the bedside of their patients, this process should take place in a comfortable and professional manner[11]. Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay

Euthanasia in a Canadian context is a sensitive subject since it has not been fully legalized as opposed to countries such as Netherlands where doctors have been permitted to allow their patients to die on request. The fact that dementia patients in Canada has significantly risen means that the medical industry has a huge burden of taking care of them[12]. At the same time, the bioethical concern on euthanasia still remains a source of conflict as doctors and the society both hold varying viewpoints.

The second bioethical issue in the care of dementia patients revolves around palliative care at the end of life stage. This is because the people suffering from this condition are often neglected and they are not given enough medication, attention, comfort or even care from the nurses and caregivers. Palliative care deals with helping patients who are nearing their end stages to live comfortably and happily[13]. It advocates that medical attention should be personalized such that the nurses should develop a close relationship with their patients so that they can be able to enjoy their last days. This form of care requires the caregivers to show care to their patients depending on the nature of the most immediate needs.

This is because palliative care is very instrumental towards the process of healing and restoration of improved physical health. For instance, showing interest in what a patient likes makes them feel that someone loves them and cherishes their life. In fact, patients that have been shown this form of care tend to enjoy their final days based on what they prefer most.[14] Some show affection for music, reading the Bible, playing with their grandchildren or simply sitting out in the garden for a few hours. However, this form of care is not often extended to dementia patients as people feel that their near vegetative state cannot allow them to have any pleasurable things to do.

Palliative care is a bioethical issue in dementia patients since they are not treated as humanly as they should[15]. Further, the psychological, spiritual and even social needs of these people are not given any priority at all. Hence, they do not get to enjoy any close relationship with the caregivers and instead get to sit or sleep in their sick beds all day. Ethical scholars advise that dementia victims are similar to the healthy population and they deserve to be treated in a manner that proves there is sanctity in life[16]. Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay

This means that the patients should be allowed to choose the best ways in which they wish to be attended to while undergoing the healing process. For instance, they can choose that they would want their favorite story to be read to them every day in the afternoons or that they should be allowed to interact with their close family members on a daily basis. It is through effective palliative care that some patients with dementia have been known to stay comfortable and happy even in their illnesses.

They stop feeling neglected and the pain is even lessened as their time is spent doing things that they enjoy[17]. Hence, palliative care as a bioethical issue in giving of care to dementia patients deserves to be addressed so that patients can have a decent and enjoyable time at their end of life stages. The third ethical issue lies in the incapacitation to make rational decisions once the disease begins to progress. This makes the immediate family members and the doctors take over the process of making choices on behalf of the patient. For instance, they begin to dictate the clothes that they should wear, how often they should change them and what their daily routine should be like. These decisions may conflict with what the dementia victim used to prefer before the disease progressed[18].

The bioethical concern in the decision making process is seen as a disregard for personal preferences and choices. In some cases, some dementia patients have had their caregivers dictate that they should change their clothes on a weekly basis. What’s more, other people have been clothed in the same clothes for months. Further, bioethical dilemmas in making decisions for dementia patients also revolves around how the immediate family or doctors treat them. They are times denied the right to engage in things or activities that they enjoy a lot such as playing with their pets, watching a favorite program or just listening to soothing music[19].

The fact that every person has their own individuality means that they should be treated in a respectable manner. Furthermore, the decisions made on their behalf should be favorable and reflect a person’s self-worth. It should not mean that even if a person with dementia loses their intellectual abilities that the choices made on their behalf should demean them. These three bioethical issues in the caring of dementia patients deserve to be addressed so that the people affected can have the chance to enjoy life amid their illness.

Your ethical stance
Virtually every person has their own individual stand when it comes to the bioethical issues that affect patients with dementia. My personal ethical stance on palliative care is that it should be accorded to every victim of this mental illness so that they can be able to live comfortably and happily. The fact that people with these condition suffer from degenerative loss of brain cells that makes them have difficulty in wearing clothes, changing them or even buttoning them in the right way. Hence, palliative care comes in handy because the care giver can take time to learn what the patient prefers in terms of clothing and their favorite colors. Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay.

In so doing, they can come with a simplified approach that can assist the dementia victim to remember when to change clothes and even the right set to wear[20]. This process would not only help them feel loved but it would do a lot in bringing out their identity and selfhood. What’s more, the person would interpret this act as a sign and manifestation of love, care and support and they easily adopt and pick up the habit to improve on their appearance and embodied self. Research and studies have shown that dressing and clothes are a central element that define the identity of a person[21].

For people with dementia, clothes actually offer means and avenues of maintaining a sense of continuity for the selfhood at both the material and embodied level[22]. In addition, dress codes have been shown to have an implication for people that suffer from such mental illnesses and it should not be underwritten at any personal, societal and even structural level. It is through palliative care that this aspect can be enforced such that the person with dementia is able to enjoy wearing what they were previously accustomed before they contracted the disease. Apart from dressing, the psychological, spiritual and social needs of the person should be met through end of life palliative care[23].

People suffering from this mental condition should be allowed to enjoy reading their favorite Bible verses, socializing with the people they love and even engaging in a passive hobby as frequently as possible. They should be denied this opportunity simply because their memory does not function as effectively as before. Instead, nurses and caregivers should occasionally take time to learn what their patients like and strive to provide it for them[24].

This approach will not only help them feel better about themselves but it would also have a positive impact on reducing the effects of the disease. The giving of palliative care in dementia patients can be one of the ways that can make their end life days more comfortable as they would be doing things they like and enjoying the love and care from family and physicians.

Public policy issue
The Canadian government is appreciative of end of life care and it advocates for all patients to be given quality services regardless of their disease or condition. It believes that the process of dying for all people should be made comfortable, especially for those suffering from diseases that are life threatening. Specifically, the public laws and policies in Canada assert there are some services that should be mandatory for any patient in palliative care. This includes the management of signs, symptoms and even the pain of the disease[25]. Additionally, palliative care that is given should include giving support for social, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient. The Canadian government is also strict and it requires that these services should be given in all health facilities, medical centers and even within the home environment[26].

In fact, the country is working tirelessly to make sure that end of life care becomes a national strategy. This means that the nurses, doctors, social workers and even family members have the obligation of ensuring that the give love, care and support to people at the end of life stage. Patients suffering from dementia in Canada stand to benefit a lot as it means that their sick days will be characterized by a lot of attention and comfort.

The enforcement of effective palliative care would see them enjoy wearing their favorite clothes, enjoying social interactions with friends, family and doctors while at the same time receive the best services for managing the painful symptoms of the disease[27]. The recognition by the Canadian government that palliative care is essential for patients with dementia means that they stand to gain a lot from the improvement of this service delivery.

Conclusion

The diagnosis of a mental illnesses such as dementia is considered by many as a process that leads to the disruption of the selfhood and identity of a person. The deterioration in intellectual and thinking abilities often makes the victim unable to make rational decision, recognize close family members or even execute simple tasks like showering and dressing. The fact that people with these conditions suffer from degenerative loss of brain cells makes them have difficulty in wearing clothes, changing them or even buttoning them in the right way. Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay.

These complications have made numerous bioethical issues to step up due to the quality of care that is given to dementia victims. Physician assisted suicide, palliative care and decision making are three of the most common ethical concerns. They arise out of the fact that human life holds its own sanctity and every person should be treated with dignity and respect. However, this is not true for all the three issues since dementia victims are not given the care and support they deserve. The process of effecting a public policy in Canada that strives to give dementia patients a comfortable life is definitely the solution to management of this condition.

Bibliography

Ahmad, J., Ho, O. A., Carman, W. W., Thoma, A., Lalonde, D. H., & Lista, F. (2014). Assessing patient safety in Canadian ambulatory surgery facilities: A national survey. Canadian Journal Of Plastic Surgery, 22(1), 34-38.

Brett, Anne Liners, Jo Ellen Branstetter, and Patricia D. Wagner. 2014.”Nurse Educators’ Perceptions Of Caring Attributes In Current And Ideal Work Environments.” Nursing Education Perspectives 35.6 (2014): 360-366. Academic Search Premier. Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay.

Brijnath, B., & Manderson, L. (2008). Discipline in Chaos: Foucault, Dementia and Aging in India. Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry, 32(4), 607-626. Doi: 10.1007/s11013-008-9111-5

Chatterji, R. (2008). An Ethnography of Dementia. Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry, 22(3), 355- 382.

Entwistle, J. (2010). The fashioned body: Fashion, dress and modern social theory. Cambridge: Polity.

Faircloth, C. (2012). Aging bodies: Images and everyday experiences. Walnut Creek, California: Altamira Press.

Hoeve, Y, Jansen, G, & Roodbol, P 2014, ‘The nursing profession: public image, self-concept and professional identity. A discussion paper’, Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 70, 2, pp. 295-309,

Kontos, P. (2015). Embodied selfhood in Alzheimer’s disease: Rethinking person-centred care. Dementia, 4 (4), 553-570.

Rezaei-Adaryani, M, Salsali, M, & Mohammadi, E 2012, ‘Nursing image: An evolutionary concept analysis’, Contemporary Nurse: A Journal For The Canadian Nursing Profession, 43, 1, pp. 81-89, Academic Search Premier

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Sabat, S. R. (2012). Selfhood and the dementia disease. In P. B. Harris, The person with dementia disease: Pathways to understanding the experience. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.

Twigg, J. (2010). Clothing and dementia: A neglected dimension? Journal of Aging Studies, 24, 223-230.

[1] Ahmad, J., Ho, O. A., Carman, W. W., Thoma, A., Lalonde, D. H., & Lista, F. (2014). Assessing patient safety in Canadian ambulatory surgery facilities: A national survey. Canadian Journal. Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay.

[2] Brett, Anne Liners, Jo Ellen Branstetter, and Patricia D. Wagner. 2014.”Nurse Educators’ Perceptions Of Caring Attributes In Current And Ideal Work Environments.

[3] Brijnath, B., & Manderson, L. (2008). Discipline in Chaos: Foucault, Dementia and Aging in India. Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry, 32(4), 607-626. Doi: 10.1007/s11013-008-9111-5

[4] Chatterji, R. (2008). An Ethnography of Dementia. Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry.

[5] Entwistle, J. (2010). The fashioned body: Fashion, dress and modern social theory. Cambridge: Polity.

[6] Faircloth, C. (2012). Aging bodies: Images and everyday experiences. Walnut Creek, California: Altamira Press.

[7] Hoeve, Y, Jansen, G, & Roodbol, P 2014, ‘The nursing profession: public image, self-concept and professional identity. A discussion paper’, Journal Of Advanced Nursing.

[8] Twigg, J. (2010). Clothing and dementia: A neglected dimension? Journal of Aging Studies, 24, 223-230.

[9] Sabat, S. R. (2012). Selfhood and the dementia disease. In P. B. Harris, The person with dementia disease: Pathways to understanding the experience. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.

[10] Rezaei-Adaryani, M, Salsali, M, & Mohammadi, E 2012, ‘Nursing image: An evolutionary concept analysis’, Contemporary Nurse: A Journal For The Canadian Nursing Profession.

[11] Rubenstein, R. L. (2007). The significance of personal objects to older people. Journal of Aging Studies.

[12] Chatterji, R. (2008). An Ethnography of Dementia. Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry.

[13] Brijnath, B., & Manderson, L. (2008). Discipline in Chaos: Foucault, Dementia and Aging in India. Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry, 32(4), 607-626. Doi: 10.1007/s11013-008-9111

[14] Twigg, J. (2010). Clothing and dementia: A neglected dimension? Journal of Aging Studies, 24, 223-230.

[15] Sabat, S. R. (2012). Selfhood and the dementia disease. In P. B. Harris, The person with dementia disease: Pathways to understanding the experience. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.

[16] Sabat, S. R. (2012). Selfhood and the dementia disease. In P. B. Harris, The person with dementia disease: Pathways to understanding the experience. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press

[17] Rubenstein, R. L. (2007). The significance of personal objects to older people. Journal of Aging Studies.

[18] Ahmad, J., Ho, O. A., Carman, W. W., Thoma, A., Lalonde, D. H., & Lista, F. (2014). Assessing patient safety in Canadian ambulatory surgery facilities: A national survey. Canadian Journal. Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay

[19] Sabat, S. R. (2012). Selfhood and the dementia disease. In P. B. Harris, The person with dementia disease: Pathways to understanding the experience. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.

[20] Brijnath, B., & Manderson, L. (2008). Discipline in Chaos: Foucault, Dementia

[21] Rubenstein, R. L. (2007). The significance of personal objects to older people. Journal of Aging Studies.

[22] Brijnath, B., & Manderson, L. (2008). Discipline in Chaos: Foucault, Dementia.

[23] Hoeve, Y, Jansen, G, & Roodbol, P 2014, ‘The nursing profession: public image, self-concept and professional identity. A discussion paper’, Journal Of Advanced Nursing.

[24] Hoeve, Y, Jansen, G, & Roodbol, P 2014, ‘The nursing profession: public image, self-concept and professional identity. A discussion paper’, Journal Of Advanced Nursing.

[25] Ahmad, J., Ho, O. A., Carman, W. W., Thoma, A., Lalonde, D. H., & Lista, F. (2014). Assessing patient safety in Canadian ambulatory surgery facilities: A national survey. Canadian Journal.

[26] Brijnath, B., & Manderson, L. (2008). Discipline in Chaos: Foucault, Dementia.

[27] Brijnath, B., & Manderson, L. (2008). Discipline in Chaos: Foucault, Dementia. Dementia Ethical issues Sample Essay

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