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Ethical Issues in LTC

Christina Marvin


Beth Madvin-Cox

October 22, 2012

Ethical Issues in LTC

There are many issues that arise, that professionals face in long term care. There are issues such as autonomy, informed consent and end of life treatment issues that are faced that may cause problems. People have to know how to handle these issues properly in order to ensure the safety of everyone involved. This paper will discuss the ethical issues that arise in long term care. It will also discuss alternative measures that can be taken to ensure everyone understands.

Ethical issues are faced in every type of job; whether it is in a doctor’s office or if it is in a long-term care facility. The first ethical issues that may cause conflict is autonomy. Autonomy basically means self-determination. In this context, it means recognizing an individual’s right to make his or her decisions about what is best for him- or herself (Pozgar, 2005) and, in doing so, to direct the course of his or her care (Pratt, J. R. 2010). It gives the patient the right to choose what services they receive and when they receive it. It helps them by allowing them to feel like they are truly needed like they have a sense of self-worth; it allows them to have their independence.

Sometimes autonomy may cause conflict. A professional’s objective is to make sure that their patient is cared for. However, when a patient’s autonomy is in direct conflict, the professional’s first directive may supersede the patient’s autonomy. In long-term care, the first and foremost directive is to take care of the patient, but when that patient only wants something that may cause harm then autonomy is more or less, ignored. However, Autonomy in long-term care may conflict with the more traditional concept of beneficence: the responsibility of the provider to act in the best interests of the patient (Pratt, J. R. 2010).

Ethical Issues in LTC...