Ethical challenges and how to develop ethics support in primary health care

Nursing Ethics 20 (1):96-108 (2013)
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Abstract

Ethics support in primary health care has been sparser than in hospitals, the need for ethics support is probably no less. We have, however, limited knowledge about how to develop ethics support that responds to primary health-care workers’ needs. In this article, we present a survey with a mixture of closed- and open-ended questions concerning: How frequent and how distressed various types of ethical challenges make the primary health-care workers feel, how important they think it is to deal with these challenges better and what kind of ethics support they want. Five primary health-care institutions participated. Ethical challenges seem to be prominent and common. Most frequently, the participants experienced ethical challenges related to scarce resources and lack of knowledge and skills. Furthermore, ethical challenges related to communication and decision making were common. The participants welcomed ethics support responding to their challenges and being integrated in their daily practices.

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