Dementia - Key findings

This report concluded that those who support and care for people with dementia need much more support in tackling the ethical problems they meet every day. Guidelines are helpful, but not enough.

A 6–part ‘ethical framework’ is presented to help those who face dilemmas in the day-to-day care of someone with dementia.

The report also makes recommendations in the following areas:

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Dementia - Introduction

In October 2009, the Council published a report, Dementia: ethical issues, which considers the ethical issues that arise in the context of dementia.

Ethical difficulties arising in dementia include:

  • deciding when and how to communicate a diagnosis

  • balancing a person’s safety with their need for independence and freedom

  • deciding what is in the best interests of the person with dementia, for example when making decisions about their care and treatment

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Dementia - Dementia consultation responses

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has decided that, where possible, it will post consultation responses on its website. The Working Party has found the replies extremely useful and has considered all the responses.

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Dementia - Media coverage

Highlights of media coverage about the report





ABC Radio - Life Matters

Interview with Professor Julian Hughes

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Dementia: ethical issues video

Professor Tony Hope, chair of the Working Party on Dementia, Council member Dr Rhona Knight, and Hugh Whittall, Director of the Council, discuss some of the Council's key recommendations on ethical issues raised by dementia care.

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Dementia - Terms of reference

In the light of the increasing prevalence of dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions in the UK, and of developments in neuroscience which provide a better understanding of these conditions and of the care and treatment that can be provided to those suffering from them, the Working Party will:

1. Identify and consider the ethical, legal, economic and social issues including issues of social responsibility that arise in the care and treatment of those with chronic, progressive neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system;

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Dementia: ethical issues report launch

The Council launched its report Dementia: ethical issues at a public seminar held in London on 1 October 2009. Find out more about this report.

Working Party members presented the findings of the report, with talks on topics including including dilemmas in care, dementia research, and the needs of carers. The presentations were followed by questions and discussions with the audience.

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Dementia carers need more support in tackling ethical dilemmas

Carers of people with dementia need more support and advice to tackle the difficult ethical dilemmas that they face on a daily basis, says the Nuffield Council on Bioethics in a major report today.

The report sets out an ethical approach to dealing with these dilemmas, and makes policy recommendations aimed at improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers.

Professor Tony Hope, chair of the Working Party that produced the report and a psychiatrist with many years of experience of working with people with dementia said:

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Members of the public deliberate dementia

On 5 August 2008, fifty members of the public gathered at the ThinkTank Science Centre in Birmingham to deliberate the ethical issues raised by dementia at a workshop hosted by the Council.

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Caring for people with dementia: are we being ethical?

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics today launched a consultation on the ethical dilemmas that are faced by people with dementia and those who care for them, including families, carers, and health and social care professionals.

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