Users' Views of Palliative Care Services: ethical implications

Woods, Simon, Beaver, Kinta orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6552-2323 and Luker, Karen (2000) Users' Views of Palliative Care Services: ethical implications. Nursing Ethics, 7 (4). pp. 314-326. ISSN 0969-7330

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This article is based on the findings of a study that elicited the views of terminally ill patients (n = 15), their carers (n = 10) and bereaved carers (n = 19) on the palliative care services they received. It explores the range of ethical issues revealed by the data. Although the focus of the original study was on community services, the participants frequently commented on all aspects of their experience. They described some of its positive and negative aspects. Of concern was the reported lack of sensitivity to the role of the family among health professionals. The family, as carers, service users and advocates, represent a challenge to professional boundaries and the ethical norms of confidentiality and best interest. The accounts reveal the complexity of the ethical issues that characterize terminal care, issuing specific ethical challenges to nurses and other health professionals involved in this field.

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