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EthicsContemporary challenges in health and social care$
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Audrey Leathard and Susan McLaren

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347558

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347558.001.0001

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Ethical dilemmas in caring for people with complex disabilities

Ethical dilemmas in caring for people with complex disabilities

(p.229) Sixteen Ethical dilemmas in caring for people with complex disabilities

Keith Andrews

Policy Press

This chapter examines ethical dilemmas in caring for people with complex disabilities. Complex disabilities can result in a diverse range and combination of physical, cognitive, and behavioural disorders that can impact variably on the individual, family, and society. Ethical decision making is informed by the principles of respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Dilemmas can arise in relation to decision making for those who lack mental capacity, withholding or withdrawing treatment, confidentiality, or involvement in teaching and publication. Where mental capacity is lacking, decisions must be in the best interests of the people and the least restrictive option chosen that balances duty of care with personal freedom.

Keywords:   complex disability, ethics, social care, ethical decision making, mental capacity, duty of care, personal freedom, best interests

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