Practising the ethics of person‐centred care balancing ethical conviction and moral obligations

Nursing Philosophy 23 (3):e12382 (2022)
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Abstract

Person‐centred care is founded on ethics as a basis for organizing care. In spite of healthcare systems claiming that they have implemented person‐centred care, patients report less satisfaction with care. These contrasting results require clarification of how to practice person‐centred ethics using Paul Ricoeur's ‘Little ethics’, summarized as: ‘aiming for the good life, with and for others in just institutions’. In this ethic Kantian morality is at once subordinate and complementary to Aristotelian ethics because the ethical goal needs to be critically assessed and passed through the examination of the norm in each care situation. This paper presents examples that describes a person‐centred care practice that balance a critical review of care activities based on a conviction of aiming for patients' wellbeing. In contrast to patients' experiences of person‐centred care in real life, research projects have shown that if the clinical performers comprehend and apply the practice of person‐centred ethics, patients report positive outcomes. The implementation of person‐centred care therefore demands that stakeholders and managers enables and requires that healthcare staff study ethics in the same way as studying for example pharmacology is required when handling patients' medicines.

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