Between autonomy and security: Ethical questions in the care of elderly persons with dementia in nursing homes

Cees Hertogh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Ethical questions do not only arise in psychogeriatrics when difficult decisions have to be made about medical treatment, when it is a question of whether or not to comply with a euthanasia request or a compulsory admission. A lot has been said and written about these subjects already. The more mundane problems like those of Mrs Johnson and Mr Billings are also examples of care situations, in which ethical questions arise. The way in which caregivers deal with these situations and respond to the behaviour outlined above always begs the question of whether they are doing the right thing. These examples are just two of many in which the question of doing the right thing plays an important part-either in the foreground or the background. The management of persons with dementia therefore has an undeniably ethical dimension. But which maxims and values should we apply? Why do caregivers regularly feel that they are not doing the right thing, even when they are doing their best?.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCare-Giving in Dementia V3
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Applications Volume 3
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781135479732
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

Cite this