A Trust was set up in his name in to promote education in the recognition and treatment of cancer pain and it provided funds for an annual essay prize, open to those undergraduate medical students of Queen's University, Belfast, who had completed their fourth year palliative care teaching. The first competition took place in and the winning entry appeared in the Ulster Medical Journal in The Trust itself was dissolved in but the essay prize continues and the Trust's website can still be accessed at http: While no-one is likely to dispute that patient dignity is an important concept, it is much more difficult to translate this abstract concept into the clinical setting.
The first competition took place in and the winning entry appeared in the Ulster Medical Journal in While no-one is likely to dispute that patient dignity is an important concept, it is much more difficult to translate this abstract concept into the clinical setting.
Maintaining patient dignity is something Essay on patient dignity often hear mentioned when discussing the principles of palliative care; however it is possible that this almost becomes a phrase of vain repetition with little relevance to the quality of care the patient actually receives.
The word dignity originates from two Latin words, dignitus merit and dignus worth. The concepts of respect, autonomy, empowerment and communication have been identified within the literature as being key defining attributes of dignity.
In turn, each of these attributes is multidimensional, further contributing to the complex, ambiguous nature of the concept. Most end-of-life interventions focus predominantly on symptom control, rather than holistic care 4. Therefore it may be helpful to consider the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients in palliative care settings.
Regarding physical needs, when trying to enhance and preserve dignity, a systematic review found that symptom control and being placed in the correct environment are important in delivering dignified end-of-life care 5.
Good management of physical symptoms such as pain, dyspnoea, constipation, nausea, and respiratory secretions may allow for opportunities to work through unfinished emotional, psychological and spiritual issues, and promote a sense of closure towards the end of life 6.
However, invasive and inappropriate investigations should be avoided 7. Regarding emotional needs, a review found that important actions for healthcare professionals providing end-of-life care include communicating, listening, conveying empathy, and involving patients in decision-making 8.
Furthermore, good communication between the patient and their partner about their feelings should be promoted 9. Spiritual needs should also be addressed 7. An observational study evaluated the spiritual needs of patients with terminal cancer.
The two most relevant needs were the need to be recognised as a person until the end of life without losing their identity, and the need to know the truth about their illness.
Less importance was placed on concerns for the past and future, and for religious matters It would appear that, as spiritual care goes beyond the scope of religion, it involves more than facilitating access to the relevant chaplains. Other measures found to promote dignity include enabling of the management of finances, facilitating activities such as reading or watching television, allowing the patient to spend time with their family, providing choices regarding the place of death, remembering the dignity of the family after the death of the individual, and offering emotional support 7.
In addition, life storytelling has been shown to help individuals with dementia maintain their dignity of identity.
The age of the patient may influence how one thinks of dignity in end-of-life care. There should also be less emphasis on the prospect of impending death Religious and cultural factors may also influence how one thinks of dignity in end-of-life care.
As dignity is a value- and culture-laden concept that encompasses a wide spectrum of physical, psychosocial, spiritual, familial and cultural issues, an awareness of ethnic diversity is required for all healthcare professionals 4.
A Hindu may accept or reject certain treatments based on their interpretation of suffering in relation to beliefs about Karma A longitudinal study found that a downward trend in the sense of dignity following admission to a nursing home was associated with the feeling of a loss of control and a loss of self-worth Considerations of patient dignity may also be set aside unintentionally due to time constraints and heavy workloads, for example in the Emergency Department 2.
Lack of feeling empathy or the inability to emotionally engage with patients may indicate healthcare provider burnout Spiritual care has been shown to be hindered by a lack of privacy and discontinuity in care Furthermore, the concept of dignity may be forsaken due to the pressures of modern medicine, where the emphasis is on providing care i.
Francis Peabody in his famous address to Harvard medical students in Human dignity Nowadays human dignity is everywhere, to the public place, to the political, economic, social or medical concept.
Dignity is defined as a moral, legal, ethical or political term that means a being has an innate right to be treating equitability. Dignity and Respect. Dignity and respect is something everyone has a right to. I have chosen this subject because it is an important part of nursing in that to be able to fulfil the role of a nurse is firstly to respect the person you are caring for.
By giving the patient dignity, this then empowers them to make choices, which then gives them confidence to make decisions on their care. (NMC ). The code of professional conduct (NMC ) will guide my actions, in giving the care for Mr Chambers.
Dignity arises in every nurse-patient encounter and there are many opportunities for dignity promotion. It is maintained depending on how the nurse acts toward the patient. The smallest actions can make a huge difference in the way a person feels.
Essay: Dignity The provisional meaning of dignity used in the Social Care Institute for Excellence guide is based on a standard dictionary definition: ‘A state, quality or manner worthy of esteem or respect; and (by extension) self-respect.
Comprehensive and clearly presented introduction to the key issues relating to person centred care and maintaining patient dignity in the chosen situation.
Clearly explains the issues and sets the scene for the following discussion.