An ethical compass for nursing homes

By Melody HansenMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

Questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no regularly come up concerning the care sector. Ethics committees can help staff, residents and relatives navigate the shades of grey. A law wants to make them mandatory for all service providers who offer care for the elderly.

Whenever complicated ethical issues arise at CIPA Waassertrap in Sanem, at least ten members of the ethics committee meet in the conference room. They discuss how to settle an argument between a resident and her daughter, how to stop another resident from running away again and again, and how to deal with a dementia patient who refuses to move to the appropriate ward. They deal with questions that often arise in care facilities – and which are not easy to answer.

What has worked in CIPA Waassertrap for almost six years is to become a legal obligation in all care facilities in Luxembourg in the future: The draft law 7524 on the quality of services for older people stipulates that all service providers offering care for the elderly must set up their own ethics committee or share one with other service providers.

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