Preserving dignity in end-of-life nursing home care: Some ethical challenges
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Original versionBrodtkorb, K. et al. (2017): Preserving dignity in end-of-life nursing home care: Some ethical challenges, Nordic Journal of Nursing Research 37(2), 78–84. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2057158516674836
A central task in palliative care is meeting the needs of frail, dying patients in nursing homes. The aim of this study was to investigate how healthcare workers are influenced by and deal with ethical challenges in end-of-life care in nursing homes. The study was inspired by clinical application research. Researchers and clinical staff, as co-researchers, collaborated to shed light on clinical situations and create a basis for new practice. The analysis resulted in the main theme, ‘Dignity in end-of-life nursing home care’, and the sub-categories ‘Challenges regarding life-prolonging treatment’ and ‘Uncertainty regarding clarification conversations’. Our findings indicate that nursing homes do not provide necessary organizational frames for the team approach that characterizes good palliation, and therefore struggle to give dignified care. Ethical challenges experienced by healthcare workers are closely connected to inadequate organizational frames.