The imperative of professional dementia care

Carter, M. (2023) The imperative of professional dementia care. Bioethics, 37(3), pp. 292-302. (doi: 10.1111/bioe.13095) (PMID:36217987)

[img] Text
282103.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.



Despite negative effects on their health and social lives, many informal carers of people living with dementia claim to be acting in accordance with a moral obligation. Indeed, feelings of failure and shame are commonly reported by those who later give up their caring responsibilities, suggesting a widespread belief that professional dementia care, whether delivered in the person's own home or in an institutional setting, ought always to be a last resort. In this paper, however, I suggest that this common intuition gets things the wrong way around. Adopting a relational egalitarian framework, I argue that the most serious injustices engendered by present-day dementia care services are contingent on broader societal structures—they can thus be ameliorated relatively easily (if resource intensively) by changing those structures. Informal dementia care, on the other hand, carries similar risks of injustice and is much more resistant to structural reform. While there may be moral obligations to provide informal dementia care in present-day societies, then, they arise because of the deficiencies of professional care, not the virtues of its informal counterpart. Though we may be far from achieving just care arrangements in most of our societies, we must never lose sight of the fact that, when we engage in morally permitted informal dementia care, we are exercising our last resort.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carter, Dr Matilda
Authors: Carter, M.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Bioethics
ISSN (Online):1467-8519
Published Online:11 October 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Bioethics 37(3): 292-302
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record