April 24, 2024

What about more mundane forms of torture?

What about nursing home scandals?
There has been much
debate over the obligation of doctors not to participate in torture.
Fortunately, for nearly all doctors in Western countries, this is an extremely
remote challenge to their ethical integrity. But what about their obligation to
refuse to be participate in and to denounce and report “forms of abuse that
fall short of torture”, asks an Irish doctor in the BMJ.

particular relevance is the role of doctors, nurses, and therapists
who witness institutional abuse of older people in healthcare
settings, such as nursing homes and hospitals. Institutional abuse
can be characterised by poor care standards, lack of a positive
response to complex needs, rigid routines, inadequate staffing, and
an insufficient knowledge base within the service. Throughout the
developed world there have been numerous scandals relating to
nursing homes, and it is a striking feature how many
doctors and nurses have been tolerant of endemic poor care up to the
point of the scandal breaking.” ~ BMJ, Mar 24

Michael Cook
elder abuse