Two: Ethics and contemporary challenges in health and social care

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This chapter explains ethical theories, principles, and issues of relevance in health and social care, including some recent trends in contemporary policy and practice with ethical implications. The first section separates ethics from morality. It examines the distinctions between normative and non-normative ethics, virtue ethics, ethics, and law. Examples of ethical challenges are identified, highlighting issues common to health and social care. Finally, the changing nature of professional roles and relationships, the role of protocols in relation to professional autonomy, lack of trust, changing social trends, potentially infinite demand for finite resources, increasing ethnic diversity, policy drivers towards quality and targets, and risk assessment and risk management are explored.

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Contemporary challenges in health and social care