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Ethics of living and dying with dementia 

Ethics of living and dying with dementia
Ethics of living and dying with dementia

Cees Hertogh

and Jenny van der Steen

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date: 04 August 2021

The gradual progression of dementia means there has to be a constant search for a reasonable balance between supporting autonomy and ensuring proper representation.

Good end of life care for people with dementia depends on adequate advance care planning, startling early in the disease process

Where possible, it involves striving for joint decision-making with the patient and next-of-kin about (future) medical treatment and (future) care.

Written advance directives may support representatives of incompetent patients in their role of surrogate decision maker, but the contents of the directive require interpretation in the context of advance care planning.

The concept of “palliative care” offers a (policy) framework for advance care planning as well as moral guideline for dealing with written advance directives of patients with dementia.

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