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Ethical dilemmas in treating cases of abuse of older people in the family

International Journal of Law, Policy & the Family

Author: Landau, R.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1998


Examines ethical dilemmas faced by professionals who deal with the abuse (physical violence, neglect) of older adults, especially by members of their own families. A review of the literature indicates a resemblance in the profiles of abusers & their victims. Both tend to be vulnerable individuals who find it difficult to manage their own lives; in some cases, abusers are also abused by their elderly charges in a vicious cycle of dependence & abuse. Ethical issues involving competence & individual freedom vs the good of society are discussed, along with steps professionals need to take in the process of ethical decision making. Important considerations include clarification of the duties/obligations of family members toward the older relative, understanding one's own attitudes toward aging & infirmity, & an honest evaluation of what will provide the best quality of life for the client. Policy implications are discussed.

Further Details

Pages: 345-355
Volume: 12
Issue: 3
Accession Number: 20.5.03
Keywords: older, behavioural, health improvement, policy compliance
Reads: 206