The excesses of care: a matter of understanding the asymmetry of power

Nursing Philosophy 13 (4):236-243 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The aim of the article is to illustrate concrete problems in the asymmetrical nurse–patient power relationship. It is an ethical demand that the nurse is faced with the challenges that the power in the relation is administered so that the patient's room for action is expanded and trust maintained. It is an essential message in care philosophy, but in clinical practice, success is not always achievable. A hidden and more or less unconscious restriction of the patient's room for action may result in the excesses of care. Three selected aspects: dependence, trust, and power described by the Danish philosopher K.E. Løgstrup and the Norwegian nursing philosopher Kari Martinsen's care philosophy has inspired this empirically based examination of some current barriers in the asymmetrical nurse–patient relationship. On the basis of qualitative interviews with six patients and six nurses, the research thus provides an identifying and problem‐exploratory examination of some current obstacles in which the handling of trust and power reflects the excesses of care. The findings develop three themes. ‘Being a burden’ acknowledges that the balance of power will always tip to the nurse's advantage. The second theme, ‘Doing only what's absolutely necessary’, shows how a fixation with ‘technicalism’ creates a distance between people that may constrain the patient's room for action. The last theme is concerning the nurse's ability to navigate between closeness and distance is essential in avoiding ‘the excesses of care’, paternalism, and overprotectiveness. A situation in which distance takes the upper hand and care turns into paternalism. A different situation would arise if the nurse's emotions became sentimental or intimate with the result that closeness gets the upper hand. To avoid a harmful exercise of power and the excesses of care, the findings have demonstrated that a relationship‐based caring is a demand for situation‐specific sensitive attention skills

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,389

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Asymmetry: A Solution.Melinda A. Roberts - 2011 - Theoria 77 (4):333-367.
Understanding the Time‐Asymmetry of Radiation.Jill North - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1086-1097.
Spirituality and Reductionism: Three Replies.John Paley - 2010 - Nursing Philosophy 11 (3):178-190.
Beyond the Drive to Satisfy Needs: In the Context of Health Care. [REVIEW]Charlotte Delmar - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (2):141-149.
Is Supervenience Asymmetric?John F. Post - 1999 - Manuscrito 22 (2):305-344.
Asymmetry and Self-Sacrifice.Theodore Sider - 1993 - Philosophical Studies 70 (2):117 - 132.
The Importance of Management for Understanding Managed Care.George G. J. Agich - 1999 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 24 (5):518 – 534.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-09-06

Downloads
114 (#107,606)

6 months
1 (#415,900)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?