In patient-centered care, where does family fit?
The opinions of family members can affect a patient’s decisions about their medical care, but how can a physician respect the wishes of the patient while also including the patient’s family members who play a role in major life decisions, such as care planning?
The January issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics explores patient- and family-centered care as a movement toward participatory medicine that values the opinions of and relationships between patients and their family members.
Articles featured in this issue include:
- “What’s the role of autonomy in patient–and family–centered care when patients and family members don’t agree?” When disagreements over approaches to care come between a patient and their family members, physicians might be able to facilitate a solution but must find the proper balance between respecting the decisions of the patient and the opposing opinions of that patient’s family. This article offers a case study to guide an investigation into the physician’s role when family members disagree with a patient’s wishes.
- “Evidence-based design: Structuring patient-and family-centered ICU care.” When family members are allowed to witness lifesaving procedures they have less anxiety and greater confidence in the care provided to their loved one. But in the ICU, increased family presence can mean navigating interpersonal, social and cultural dynamics at the patient’s bedside. This article explores the ethical challenges of involving a patient’s family in ICU care.
- “Patient-and family-centered care: It’s not just for pediatrics anymore.” Evidence has shown that family-centered care among patients of all ages can lead to compliance, improved communication and better care planning. This article explores the best strategy for successful patient- and family-centered care.
- “We got your back: Patient advocacy through art.” How can painting show the realities of patient experiences? One artist founded the Walking Gallery of Healthcare movement, in which patients and clinicians don business suit jackets with personalized health care story paintings on the backs.
In the journal’s January podcast, Kelly Parent, the patient-and family-centered care program specialist for quality and safety at the University of Michigan Health System, discusses what makes patient- and family-centered care an inclusive approach to health care delivery and how this approach is being implemented.
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