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Dignity at stake: Caring for persons with impaired autonomy
Högskolan Väst, Skaraborgs sjukhus Skövde.
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Health Care Sciences.
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Health Care Sciences.
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Health Care Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1815-1523
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2019 (English)In: Nursing Ethics, ISSN 0969-7330, E-ISSN 1477-0989Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Dignity, usually considered an essential ethical value in healthcare, is a relatively complex, multifaceted concept. However, healthcare professionals often have only a vague idea of what it means to respect dignity when providing care, especially for persons with impaired autonomy. This article focuses on two concepts of dignity, human dignity and dignity of identity, and aims to analyse how these concepts can be applied in the care for persons with impaired autonomy and in furthering the practice of respect and protection from harm. Three vignettes were designed to illustrate typical caring situations involving patients with mild to severely impaired autonomy, including patients with cognitive impairments. In situations like these, there is a risk of the patient’s dignity being disrespected and violated. The vignettes were then analysed with respect to the two concepts of dignity to find out whether this approach can illuminate what is at stake in these situations and to provide an understanding of which measures could safeguard the dignity of these patients. The analysis showed that there are profound ethical challenges in the daily care of persons with impaired autonomy. We suggest that these two concepts of human dignity could help guide healthcare professionals to develop practical skills in person-centred, ethically grounded care, where the patient’s wishes and needs are the starting point

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Caring, cognitive impairment, dignity, theoretical analysis, vignettes
National Category
Ethics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-7532DOI: 10.1177/0969733019845128OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-7532DiVA, id: diva2:1317837
Available from: 2019-05-24 Created: 2019-05-24 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved

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Ternestedt, Britt-MarieNordenfelt, LennartSilfverberg, GunillaGodskesen, Tove E.
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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