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Case study: scenario 1 - Essay Example

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Case Study: Scenario 1 Introduction This is the case of an elderly gentleman, Mr. P, 86 years old, diagnosed with moderate dementia who was being considered for clinical NHS care under the Mental Capacity Act. He indicated that he wanted to be brought home, but his family wanted him to be admitted to the hospital setting because he was placing too much pressure on his family, especially his daughter to care for him…
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Download file to see previous pages His family has however expressed that it was better for him to remain in the hospital, especially as they lived about 100 miles away from the patient and could not be adequately responsive to his immediate needs. This paper shall now discuss the different issues in this paper, those relating to the care allocated to the patient, and the ethical implications of the case. In order to protect the patient’s confidentiality and anonymity, his real name will not be revealed. This confidentiality shall extend to the carers involved in his care, as well as the evaluators for his case speaking on this BBC radio show. Protecting confidentiality or anonymity of the patient is part of the ethical principles in health practice, one which would allow the patient to be open to the health professionals without fear of their personal health conditions being revealed to other people. Body The ethical dilemmas which can be identified from the scenario include the following: whether the patient has the capacity to make the decisions regarding his care; how his best interests would be judged; and issues in the care of vulnerable elderly patients. The theory relating to mental capacity relates to the fact that the lack of mental capacity involves the ability to make decisions in one’s care; it also involves the ability to understand one’s decision, its implications, as well as the balancing of such decision (Mental Capacity Act, 2005). The Mental Capacity Act has established the details on what capacity or lack of capacity is, and these details are founded on common law. The idea of capacity is that it has a significant ethical impact because it helps determine when an individual’s refusal of medical treatment must be upheld and when it must be overlooked in favour of the patient’s best interests (Mental Capacity Act, 2005). The Mental Capacity Act (2005) includes various elements of capacity, including the fact that the basis of capacity is anchored on a specific decision, allowing a person with capacity to make one decision, even if he lacks capacity to make another decision. Another element of capacity relates to a specific decision, where a person may or may not have capacity and the fact that there are no degrees of capacity (Hotopf, 2005). Finally, capacity is mostly intellectual. In effect, an individual would have capacity if he does understand the information, is able to retain it, and is able to evaluate the data in making and communicating his decision. In the case of Mr. P, as far as the specific decision of wanting to be brought home, he does have the capacity to make such decision. He does understand the implications of his decision, including the information relating to his decision, and the evaluation of information in making and expressing his decision. The presence of capacity has to be understood within the context of each patient (Kress, 2004). Although he is resistant to healthcare and as claimed by his family, he has changed significantly and does not anymore have the capacity to make sound decisions regarding his care, these claims alone are not sufficient to support a determination involving the lack of capacity. Human beings change over time and are often vastly different from each other (UK Clinical Ethics Network, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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