The issue of artificial feeding for patients with dementia who refuse feeding by hand is a wrenching emotional problem that can cloud clinical judgement. It is helpful to apply an analytic approach to decision making. There are five steps: gathering a comprehensive clinical database; defining the goal of treatment; knowing the treatment options available, their burdens and potential benefits; understanding the law; and defining the moral framework in which care is being given. Such an approach can be used to formulate a plan of treatment in the best interests of incompetent elderly patients who cannot speak for themselves.
Cites: McGill Law J. 1981;26(4):847-7911650592
Cites: Can Med Assoc J. 1979 Nov 3;121(9):1175-90159118
Cites: Ann Intern Med. 1982 Aug;97(2):231-417049032
Cites: Nursing. 1983 Jan;13(1):47-516549673
Cites: Arch Surg. 1983 Aug;118(8):913-46409054
Cites: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1983 Nov 26;287(6405):1589-926416514
Although organizational and situational factors have been found to predict burnout, not everyone employed at the same workplace develops it, suggesting that becoming burnt out is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon. The aim of this study was to elucidate perceptions of conscience, stress of conscience, moral sensitivity, social support and resilience among two groups of health care personnel from the same workplaces, one group on sick leave owing to medically assessed burnout (n = 20) and one group who showed no indications of burnout (n = 20). The results showed that higher levels of stress of conscience, a perception of conscience as a burden, having to deaden one's conscience in order to keep working in health care and perceiving a lack of support characterized the burnout group. Lower levels of stress of conscience, looking on life with forbearance, a perception of conscience as an asset and perceiving support from organizations and those around them (social support) characterized the non-burnout group.
AIM: This paper reports a study examining factors that may contribute to burnout among healthcare personnel. BACKGROUND: The impact on burnout of factors such as workload and interpersonal conflicts is well-documented. However, although health care is a moral endeavour, little is known about the impact of moral strain. Interviews reveal that healthcare personnel experience a troubled conscience when they feel that they cannot provide the good care that they wish - and believe it is their duty - to give. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, conducted in 2003, a sample of 423 healthcare personnel in Sweden completed a battery of questionnaires comprising the Maslach Burnout Inventory, Perception of Conscience Questionnaire, Stress of Conscience Questionnaire, Social Interactions Scale, Resilience Scale and a personal/work demographic form. RESULTS: Regression analysis resulted in a model that explained approximately 59% of the total variation in emotional exhaustion. Factors associated with emotional exhaustion were 'having to deaden one's conscience', and 'stress of conscience' from lacking the time to provide the care needed, work being so demanding that it influences one's home life, and not being able to live up to others' expectations. Several additional variables were associated with emotional exhaustion. Factors contributing to depersonalization were 'having to deaden one's conscience', 'stress of conscience' from not being able to live up to others' expectations and from having to lower one's aspirations to provide good care, deficient social support from co-workers, and being a physician; however, the percentage of variation explained was smaller (30%). CONCLUSION: Being attentive to our own and others' feelings of troubled conscience is important in preventing burnout in health care, and staff need opportunities to reflect on their troubled conscience. Further research is needed into how a troubled conscience can be eased, particularly focusing on the working environment.
Conscience is an important concept in ethics, having various meanings in different cultures. Because a growing number of healthcare professionals are of immigrant background, particularly within the care of older people, demanding multiple ethical positions, it is important to explore the meaning of conscience among care providers within different cultural contexts.
The study aimed to illuminate the meaning of conscience by enrolled nurses with an Iranian background working in residential care for Persian-speaking people with dementia.
A phenomenological hermeneutical method guided the study. Participants and research context: A total of 10 enrolled nurses with Iranian background, aged 33-46 years, participated in the study. All worked full time in residential care settings for Persian-speaking people with dementia in a large city, in Sweden. Ethical considerations: The study was approved by the Regional Ethical Review Board for ethical vetting of research involving humans. Participants were given verbal and written study information and assured that their participation was voluntary and confidential.
Three themes were constructed including perception of conscience, clear conscience grounded in relations and striving to keep a clear conscience. The conscience was perceived as an inner guide grounded in feelings, which is dynamic and subject to changes throughout life. Having a clear conscience meant being able to form a bond with others, to respect them and to get their confirmation that one does well. To have a clear conscience demanded listening to the voice of the conscience. The enrolled nurses strived to keep their conscience clear by being generous in helping others, accomplishing daily tasks well and behaving nicely in the hope of being treated the same way one day.
Cultural frameworks and the context of practice needed to be considered in interpreting the meaning of conscience and clear conscience.