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Appendix 1 – Ethical principles, values and related concepts

2015: Ethical dilemmas faced by professionals providing dementia care in care homes and hospitals

Autonomy: Traditionally described as the condition or quality of being independent and being able to decide what should happen or be done to you. However, it is increasingly recognised that people exist in the context of relationships, engage in give and take, and are interdependent. Relations, institutional conditions, legislation and dementia therefore affect the exercise of individual autonomy.

Beneficence: All forms of action intended to benefit or promote the good of other people.

Compassion: Deep awareness of the suffering of others coupled with the wish to relieve it.

Conscience: Our personal, inner judge of what is right and wrong, based on shared understandings and practices.

Confidentiality: Keepinginformation we have learned in confidence secure and private; not divulging it to other people without permission.

Discernment: Having sensitive insight and being able to make judgements and decisions without being unduly influenced by personal attachments and external influences.

Familism: The subordination of personal interests and prerogatives (e.g. specific and personal rights and privileges) to the values and demands of the family.

Historicity/Narrative: The person’s life story, what has made them who they are; what is meaningful to them based on their past.

Integrity: Strict adherence to a set of consistent moral values and principles; acting in accordance with one’s core beliefs.

Humility: Not feeling that you have any special importance that makes you better than anyone else.

Justice/equity: Treating people equally and fairly.

Non-maleficence: Not doing what might be harmful or hurt somebody.

Privacy: Freedom from unauthorised intrusion or observation.

Singularity/Personhood: What makes a person unique and determines who they are and their individual interests.

Relationality: The importance of trusting relationships. The way we experience ourselves in relation to others.

Truthfulness/fidelity: Telling the truth/being true.

Trustworthiness: The state of deserving confidence.

Virtue: An inner disposition which enables a person to live well or flourish as a human being.

Vulnerability: Being in need of special care and protection especially in situations where one’s rights and needs might not be respected.



Last Updated: Thursday 26 November 2015