A Framework for Ethical Decision Making in the Rehabilitation of Patients with Anosognosia

 

Anna Rita Egbert

 

Currently, the number of patients diagnosed with impaired self-awareness of their own deficits after brain injury—anosognosia—is increasing. One reason is a growing understanding of this multifaceted phenomenon. Another is the development and accessibility of alternative measurements that allow more detailed diagnoses. Anosognosia can adversely affect successful rehabilitation, as often patients lack confidence in the need for treatment. Planning such treatment can become a complex process full of ethical dilemmas.

 

To date, there is no systematic way to deal with different aspects of anosognosia rehabilitation planning. This is the first article to present a framework for ethical decision making in establishing rehabilitation plans that are focused on increasing patients’ self-awareness of their own deficits after brain injury. It concentrates especially on addressing the ethical dilemmas that may arise, and describes stepwise procedures that can be applied to distinct theoretical approaches, as well as diagnostic and rehabilitation methods. To show the flexibility of the use of this framework, alternative approaches are discussed.

 

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