The Relational Care Framework: Promoting Continuity or Maintenance of Selfhood in Person-Centered Care

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (1):85-101 (2023)
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Abstract

We argue that contemporary conceptualizations of “persons” have failed to achieve the moral goals of “person-centred care” (PCC, a model of dementia care developed by Tom Kitwood) and that they are detrimental to those receiving care, their families, and practitioners of care. We draw a distinction between personhood and selfhood, pointing out that continuity or maintenance of the latter is what is really at stake in dementia care. We then demonstrate how our conceptualization, which is one that privileges the lived experiences of people with dementia, and understands selfhood as formed relationally in connection with carers and the care environment, best captures Kitwood’s original idea. This conceptualization is also flexible enough to be applicable to the practice of caring for people at different stages of their dementia. Application of this conceptualization into PCC will best promote the well-being of people with dementia, while also encouraging respect and dignity in the care environment.

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Author Profiles

Steve Matthews
Australian Catholic University
Matthew Tieu
Flinders University

Citations of this work

Society, Social Structures, and Community in Clinical Ethics.J. Clint Parker - 2024 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 49 (1):1-10.

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References found in this work

Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity.Charles Taylor - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (1):187-190.
Dignity: Its History and Meaning.Michael Rosen - 2012 - Harvard University Press.
Five kinds of self-knowledge.Ulric Neisser - 1988 - Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):35 – 59.
Imagining oneself otherwise.Catriona Mackenzie - 2000 - In Catriona Mackenzie & Natalie Stoljar (eds.), Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency, and the Social Self. New York: Oxford University Press.

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