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Ethics in Geriatric and Chronic Illness Nursing

Ethics in Geriatric and Chronic Illness Nursing

Ethics comprise a system of moral principles felt by an individual; they are the rules of conduct that are recognized in regards to the right and wrong aspects of the human condition and human behavior (, 2013). It must be said that ethical issues are one of the primary concerns when dealing with the geriatric, especially those that suffer from a chronic illness (Ludwick, 2003).Ethics in Geriatric and Chronic Illness Nursing

Given the issues associated with caring for the elderly and, in particular, those who suffer from chronic illnesses, when an ethical situation comes up that deals with both, it is clear that it requires further investigation and study. Lejman, et al. (2003) realized this condition and worked to complete a study regarding the ethical considerations faced by nurses who are responsible for caring for the elderly suffering from dementia, and whether or not coercive treatment should be used.


It was determined that coercive behavior is something that must be used with caution, and the best way to work with the elderly suffering from dementia was with constraint, being careful not to be too intimidating in getting the patients to complete their specified tasks (Lejman, et al., p. 260). The continued care by the nurses taken to ensure that they were performing only “good and safe nursing” (Lejman, et al., p. 260) worked to ensure that there were no ethical issues in regards to this particular issue.Ethics in Geriatric and Chronic Illness Nursing

While it is never easy taking care of the geriatric, especially those that suffer from chronic illnesses, and doubly so for those who are unaware that they are suffering from this issue, by working to ensure that the nurses are completing the best practices in their care, it is possible to ensure that there will be no ethical issues with the care provided, not to mention the fact that there would be no legal issues in that matter either.

  • (2013). Ethics. Retrieved from
  • Lejman, E., Westerbotn, M., Pöder, U., & Wadensten, B. (2013). The ethics of coercive treatment of people with dementia. Nursing Ethics, 20(3), 248-262. doi:10.1177/0969733012463721
  • Ludwick, R., Silva, M. (December 19, 2003). Ethics Column: “Ethical Challenges in the Care of Elderly Persons”. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Vol. 9 No. 1. Available:

Ethics in Geriatric and Chronic Illness Nursing



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