Call: Ethical Conflicts Regarding the Care of Older Adults with Dementia

Call for Papers.

Research Topic Frontiers in Psychiatry
Ethical Conflicts Regarding the Care of Older Adults with Dementia

Topic editors: Sagit Lev (Bar-Ilan University, Israel), Milena von Kutzleben (University of Oldenburg, Germany) and Mark Schweda (University of Oldenburg, Germany)

Dementia constitutes a group of disorders marked by a progressive decline in cognitive function, resulting in a significant loss of independence. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the global prevalence of dementia has surpassed 55 million individuals,  with nearly 10 million new cases emerging annually. Given the cognitive decline and regressive nature of these diseases, formal and informal caregivers of individuals with dementia, whether in community-based or institutional settings, encounter a diverse  array of dilemmas and ethical conflicts pertaining to intervention and decision-making in their care.

Recent studies on ethical dilemmas in dementia care have highlighted the tension between preserving autonomy and safeguarding patients from harm, particularly in situations involving exposure to abuse, transition to institutional care, and resistance to treatment.  Additionally, research on ethical dilemmas in dementia care has explored decision-making complexities at the end of life, emphasizing the ethical dilemma between quality of life and longevity. Topics such as tube feeding versus manual feeding, life-prolonging  treatments, palliative care, and advance directives in dementia patients have been subjects of investigation.

The aim of this research topic is to enhance understanding and insight into these two ethical dilemmas, along with other pertinent ethical challenges in the context of dementia care. This is from a comprehensive perspective that encompasses input from diverse  professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, healthcare providers, caregivers, and family members. The research topic considers both home-based and institutional settings to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities surrounding these  ethical dilemmas in the care of older adults.

We seek studies examining ethical dilemmas and conflicts in dementia care, encompassing the following issues:

  • Ethical dilemmas concerning autonomy, decision-making capacity, and guardianship in individuals with dementia.
  • Ethical considerations surrounding advance directives for individuals with dementia.
  • Ethical dilemmas during the transition to institutional care for individuals with dementia.
  • Ethical conflicts and dilemmas experienced by professionals caring for individuals with dementia in community and institutional settings.

Manuscript Summary Submission Deadline: 27 December 2023.

Manuscript Submission Deadline: 24 April 2024.

Click here for further information and submission guidelines.