Controversy on ethical criteria in geriatric care
Resolving about resource allocation and the ethical dilemmas daily arising in geriatric care is becoming the pattern that will dominate health care during next decades.
If elderly care in the community increasingly becomes the norm, the ethical dimensions of this kind of care giving will generate essential questioning on frailty, dependence, autonomy, competence, and the controversial relationship between the elderly and those who care and sustain them. Shared decision-making requires that the professional seeks not only to understand and meet the person's needs but also to provide him/her with reasonable alternatives, thus allowing the patient to choose what they prefer. It is through this process of shared decision-making that caregiver's knowledge and professional expertise can come together with the older person's expressed values.
The development of a coherent and understandable dialogue as well as necessary strategies stand as a crucial task and commitment for those concerned with the ethical criteria of geriatric care.