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Ethical Decision-Making in Palliative Care




  • Discussion of common moral questions
  • Identification and explanations of principles of ethical decisionmaking
  • Case examples are provided to further emphasise points covered
  • Explanation and discussion of the assessment process in planning aged care - both at home and in an aged care facility
  • Problems and ethical dilemmas are identified and solutions are offered
  • Advice is given on the necessary legal documentation

This chapter discusses the varying degrees of ethical decisions aged-care professionals are faced with at the end of a life they are caring for. It identifies many of the main concerns and provides case studies to highlight the points raised. Legal obligations and legislations are identified and advice is given on each of the dilemmas mentioned.


Contents include

  • Introduction
  • The nature of ethics
  • Principles of ethical decision-making
    • Autonomy
    • Beneficence
    • Non-maleficence
    • Justice
  • Problems and dilemmas
  • Ethical issues at the end of life
    • Advance care planning
    • Quality of life and burdensome treatment
    • Pain management at end of life
    • Hydration and nutrition
    • Withdrawal of PEG feeding
    • Requests to die
    • Resuscitation
  • Support
  • Documentation
  • Conclusion
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Author / Editor Biographies

Aged Care Palliative Care Consultant, RN, Dip Arts, B App Sci (adv.nsg) Grad Dip Geront. Nsg, B Theol, M Theol, PhD,FRCNA, FAAG
Dr Rosalie Hudson's varied nursing career is focused on aged care, dementia care and palliative care. As a consultant nurse educator, with qualifications in theology, she explores end-of-life issues for older people; as an author, teacher and associate professor with the University of Melbourne, she seeks to raise the profile of gerontic nursing. Rosalie has had twelve years of experience as a director of nursing of a 50-bed nursing home, as well as extensive experience in community nursing practice.
Palliative Care
Professor Margaret O’Connor is the inaugural Professor of Nursing at Swinburne University in Melbourne. Prior to this she was the Vivian Bullwinkel Chair in Palliative Care Nursing at Monash University, where she established and led a successful Palliative Care Research Team. Margaret’s research has been widely published, concentrating on models of palliative care , issues of culture and the end of life needs of particular population groups. From 2006 to 2011 Margaret served as the President of Palliative Care Australia and in 2005 she was made a member of the Order of Australia for h...

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