External supervision of teams is increasingly part of mechanisms put in place both in public networks and community organizations to contribute in supporting professional mental health workers in developing their abilities and improving their clinical practices. It also plays a role in the analysis of ethical questions and in the prevention of deontological errors. The supervision of teams also includes its share of challenges, notably with regards to group dynamics and mechanisms to favour in order for supervision to rightly adjust to the needs and levels of participating professionals. Finally, the supervisor must also consider his own ethical responsibilities towards those supervised and towards their clients.
In the face of an ongoing and escalating health crisis among injection drug users in Canada, calls are coming from many quarters to initiate safe injection facilities as a way to reduce overdoses, the spread of bloodborne diseases, and other health and community problems associated with injection drug use. This article summarizes a paper on safe injection facilities released in early 2002 by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. The paper contributes to the policy discussion in Canada and sets out why and how the law should support the introduction of safe injection facilities.
In recent years, the attention on the use of coercion in mental health care has increased. The use of coercion is common and controversial, and involves many complex ethical challenges. The research question in this study was: What kind of ethical challenges related to the use of coercion do health care practitioners face in their daily clinical work?
We conducted seven focus group interviews in three mental health care institutions involving 65 multidisciplinary participants from different clinical fields. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. We analysed the material applying a 'bricolage' approach. Basic ethical principles for research ethics were followed. We received permission from the hospitals' administrations and all health care professionals who participated in the focus group interviews.
Health care practitioners describe ethical dilemmas they face concerning formal, informal and perceived coercion. They provide a complex picture. They have to handle various ethical challenges, not seldom concerning questions of life and death. In every situation, the dignity of the patient is at stake when coercion is considered as morally right, as well as when coercion is not the preferred intervention. The work of the mental health professional is a complicated "moral enterprise". The ethical challenges deserve to be identified and handled in a systematic way. This is important for developing the quality of health care, and it is relevant to the current focus on reducing the use of coercion and increasing patient participation. Precise knowledge about ethical challenges is necessary for those who want to develop ethics support in mental health care. Better communication skills among health care professionals and improved therapeutic relationships seem to be vital.
A systematic focus on ethical challenges when dealing with coercion is an important step forward in order to improve health care in the mental health field.
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To investigate differences in the experiences of rural versus non-rural clinicians, we surveyed caregivers in New Mexico and Alaska regarding ethical aspects of care provision. Consistent with past literature, rural compared to non-rural clinicians perceived patients as having less access to health care resources. They reported more interaction with patients and less awkwardness in relationships with their patients outside of work. Rural clinicians also reported their patients expressed more concern about knowing them in both personal and professional roles, had more concerns over confidentiality, and experienced more embarrassment concerning stigmatizing illnesses. Ethical issues and implications of these results for providing care in rural areas are discussed.
This article wants to be a contribution reflecting on the theme of applied ethics aiming at nourishing professional and interdisciplinary practices. The authors examine the process of ethical deliberation which has four major ends : the development of reflective and ethical competences of professionals, the elaboration by professionals, of an ethical reflective structure facilitating professional praxis, orientation and quick coordination of action ; implementation of a structure of collective deliberation useful in the orientation of difficult decisions and future actions. Finally, this process also has an objective of evaluation and appears relevant in the apprenticeship drawn from experiences of each participant.