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Ethico-legal issues in relation to end-of-life care and institutional mental health

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Pamela McgrathPamela Mcgrath, K Forrester
Objectives: In view of the fact that there is a higher mortality rate for individuals with serious mental illness and that people with mental illness suffer excess mortality due to physical illness, the lack of attention to end-of-life care for patients with a serious mental illness needs addressing. This article seeks to put these issues on the agenda by beginning to explore important ethico-legal issues at the interface of palliative care and institutional mental health.Methods: Data were collected from eight qualitative interviews conducted with mental health professionals at The Park, Centre for Mental Health, Queensland. The interviews were recorded verbatim, coded and thematically analysed. Results: The findings highlight the inherent tension at the interface of compassionate, patient-centred, end-of-life care and the participants’ perception of the legal restraints imposed by virtue of being in a mental health institution. This article examines the participants’ perceptions of the legal restraints curtailing the provision of palliative care in a mental health institution and considers these findings with an understanding of the limitations imposed by law. Our hope and expectation in undertaking this exploration is to clarify the legal limitations that operate to restrict the type of end-of-life care that can be offered to mental health patients, in order to provide an informed basis for practice.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

30

Issue

3

Start Page

286

End Page

297

Number of Pages

12

eISSN

1449-8944

ISSN

0156-5788

Location

NSW, Australia

Publisher

Australasian Medical Publishing Company for the Australian Healthcare Association

Language

en-aus.

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Australian health review.

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