Nuffield Council on Bioethics launches major report on ethical dilemmas in dementia
Thursday 01 October 2009
A report launched by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics on 1 October recommends that carers of people with dementia need more support and advice to tackle the difficult ethical dilemmas that they face on a daily basis.
This report was produced by a Working Party chaired by Professor Tony Hope, Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Oxford and comprised of a number of leading dementia specialists.
Amongst the key recommendations, the report highlights the following:
- People with dementia can have a good quality of life with the good care and support set in place,
- Medical and social services should be available to people with dementia and carers not only in crisis moments,
- Good quality assessment and support shoul dbe available from the time people become concerned about smptoms of dementia,
- Families should be treated as “partners in care” by professionals,
- Proetcting people from harm is important, but “risk assessments” should be replaced by “risk-benefit assessments” that also take into account the well-being of a person with dementia,
- Mental capacity legislation should ensure full involvement of people with dementia,
- More funding for research should be made available including for quality of life research.
Professor Hope commented at the launch that “Things are starting to change but dementia still carries a stigma. Dementia needs to become an accepted, visible part of our society, and people with dementia should be able to take part in the activities they enjoy.”
The report can be downloaded from: http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org