Ethics of Assisted Autonomy in the Nursing Home: Types of Assisting Among Long-Term Care Nurses
Whitler, June M.
Nursing Ethics. 1996 Sep; 3(3): 224-235.
Twenty-five long-term care nurses in eight nursing homes in central Kentucky were interviewed concerning ways in which they might assist elderly residents to preserve and enhance their personal autonomy. Data from the interviews were analysed using grounded theory methodology. Seven specific categories of assisting were discovered and described: personalizing, informing, persuading, shaping instrumental circumstances, considering, mentioning opportunities, and assessing causes of an impaired capacity for decision-making. The ethical implications of these categories of assisting for clinical practice are examined. Although nurses recognized the importance of resident autonomy, the majority of them failed consistently to employ the categories of assistance to foster resident self-determination and most of them held an inadequate understanding of the concepts of consent and decisional capacity. To assure confidentiality, pseudonyms are used in the following cases and discussions for all names of nurses, residents and facilities.
Aged; Alternatives; Attitudes; Autonomy; Communication; Competence; Confidentiality; Consent; Empirical Research; Ethics; Family Relationship; Informed Consent; Interviews; Knowledge; Long-Term Care; Nurse Patient Relationship; Nurses; Nursing Ethics; Nursing Homes; Patient Advocacy; Patient Care; Patient Participation; Personal Autonomy; Qualitative Research; Research; Risks and Benefits; Survey;
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