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Promotion of dignity in the life and death of older patients 

Promotion of dignity in the life and death of older patients
Promotion of dignity in the life and death of older patients

Eileen Burns

, and Claire Scampion

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date: 07 March 2021

Respect for the dignity of patients is a traditional part of medical codes. Dignified care is key to a holistic person-centred approach, with participation of the individual, communication, and respect. Nurses and doctors recognize lack of dignity in depersonalized care, treating the person as an object, humiliation, abuse, and invisibility.

Older people regard dignity as critically important in their care. This relates to issues around privacy, courteousness, respect for the individual, and consideration about choices related to care, and to respect for cultural or religious needs. Assuring dignity requires the sensitive addressing of basic needs and the promotion of inclusivity and participation, with recognition that even in the presence of some impairment of cognition, the wishes and views of the patient remain central to decision-making.

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