Promoting Resident Autonomy to Maintain Quality of Life

Monique A. Martin-Parent, Georgia Dewart

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

Abstract

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian governments and healthcare organizations implemented restrictions on continuing care residents. From an ethical lens, governments and healthcare organizations were focused on preventing harm through promoting beneficence and non-maleficence; however, this was at the expense of resident autonomy. The rights of continuing care residents were stripped away when they were not given the opportunity to make informed decisions regarding their care and day-to-day life. Governments and healthcare organizations denied them the dignity to experience the positive outcomes that result from risk-taking based on their personal values and preferences. In an attempt to prevent resident harm from COVID-19 cases and deaths, governments and continuing care facilities forced residents into isolation. This negatively affected residents’ quality of life in the form of physical, mental, and cognitive health deterioration. Moving forward, governments and healthcare organizations need to take the time to engage residents in decision-making and policy development that affects their care, treatment, and support system. Governments and healthcare organizations must promote and safeguard resident autonomy to maintain quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1266-1270
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Volume24
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep. 2023

Keywords

  • autonomy
  • beneficence
  • Continuing care
  • Dignity of Risk
  • non-maleficence
  • quality of life

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