One: Introduction

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The aim of this book is to show the importance of ethics in health and social care. The emphasis in both arenas of care is significant as, up to now, ethical issues have tended to focus on either health or social care separately. This introductory chapter begins by briefly setting out definitions of ethics, followed by a policy overview to illustrate the increasing impact of ethics overall that has led to ever more media coverage. Summaries of the chosen topic areas are then set out, in which three key arenas have been assembled for discussion. The main themes selected are ethics – research and provision in health and social care together with service users’ perspectives; followed by law, management, and ethics in health and social care; with the final section on ethics – from the start of life to the end.

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Ethics
Contemporary challenges in health and social care