Tips for Managing Ethical Challenges in Advance Care Planning: A Qualitative Analysis of Japanese Practical Textbooks for Clinicians

Tips for Managing Ethical Challenges in Advance Care Planning: A Qualitative Analysis of Japanese Practical Textbooks for Clinicians
Article
Environmental Research and Public Health, 9 April 2022
Yoshihisa Hirakawa, Kaoruko Aita, Mitsunori Nishikawa, Hidenori Arai, Hisayuki Miura
Abstract
Background
While advance care planning (ACP) provides healthcare professionals with valuable tools to meet patients’ needs in a person-centered manner, several potential ethical challenges are inherent to the process. However, recent studies have largely focused on ACP practicalities such as implementation, execution, and completion rather than on the ethical challenges that clinicians routinely encounter in ACP practices.
Research question/aim/objectives
This study aimed to identify tips for clinicians managing ethical challenges in ACP practices.
Methods
It performed a brief search for all Japanese published books pertaining to ACP practice available as of January 2021 using the keywords “advance care planning (ACP)” and “autonomy” and analyze the content of nine practical ACP textbooks for clinicians.
Results
Two major themes capturing the essential recommendations for managing ethical challenges in ACP were ultimately identified, namely interprofessional ethics and informed consent.
Conclusion
The findings suggested tips for managing ethical challenges in ACP: refer to ethical frameworks for interprofessional collaboration and ethical decision making, assess decision-making capacity of family substitute decision makers and one’s eligibility for the role, understand the standard process of informed consent and how to handle situations when the patient are not well informed about the diagnosis and prognosis of non-cancer illness.

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