Fear Used as a Tool Against Dementia
I read an article posted on the New York Times about an ethical issue talking about how people affected with dementia should be treated since they are not always aware of their actions. Some nurses use dark spaces on the floors because people who have dementia are scared of falling into holes. Thinking about this issue, we could ask the question, should fear be used to keep dementia affected patients in a particular place?
First, let’s describe what this syndrome is. People who have the dementia are people who have a loss of cognitive ability due to aging or a brain injury. The affected areas in the brain could be memory, attention, language and more.
I think that fear should not be used because it is ethically incorrect to do so. We are taking advantage of the people who are disabled which is wrong in my opinion. How would these people actually want to be treated if they were aware of everything that is going on? If they had all of their conscience, I don’t think they would want to be taken advantage of in this way. What we should do is place ourselves in their position. Would you want to be enclosed by walls of snakes (if this is your fear)?
Some people might argue that if you don’t use fear you have to hold the affected people in enclosed areas like prisoners. But this is just a safe way of keeping patients with dementia from causing harm to anyone else. This goal should be the one in priority. By using dark floors, the family of the person with dementia will feel pain for their relative who is feeling afraid all the time. I think this is another aspect that could be avoided.
By using this unethical method, we are using the fear of the patient to get what we want in a way that is as easy as possible. Sometimes, the easiest way isn’t always the best way.
Finally, if people think that enclosed areas are so bad, then why don’t they start thinking about all of our animals who are kept in them?
To read the article about this issue visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/magazine/nursing-home-pitfalls.html?ref=ethics&_r=1