Thoughtful Health Care offers a timely antidote to a climate dominated by endless rules, regulations, mission statements, and codes of practice. Fixation on avoiding risk at all costs has created a checkbox culture where everyone is treated according to standardized plans. Yet, people are complicated, and cannot be understood disconnected from the complex histories, values, and environments that shape us. Obsessive focus on “safety first” has obscured this reality and drastically undervalued critical thinking and insightful practice. David Seedhouse explains how simplistic labeling, mindless targets and empty slogans have created a delusion of control and efficiency, obscuring actual patient and carer realities. Using thought-provoking examples from health care and beyond, the book advocates the restoration of thoughtfulness, creativity, and independence in health work. By reading this book, students and practitioners alike will be aided in developing their decision making and critical thinking skills, and ultimately serve those in their care better and with more honesty. The book ends with a powerful and practical toolkit that can be used thoughtfully and effectively by every open-minded health worker. Thoughtful Health Care is for any health worker committed to caring with ethical awareness and practical sensitivity.

Ethics is Everywhere

Ethics is Everywhere

In the last chapter we met Catherine, Rachel and Farooq. For each there was ‘an ethical issue’: should we take Catherine’s dog from her, should we break Rachel’s confidence, should we lie to Farooq? The way the issues are presented, with just one proposal per case, makes it seem as if they are occasional dramas – stand out issues that need urgent attention and perhaps special expertise to solve. But this is quite mistaken.

It is widely believed that for most of the time life proceeds in an untroubled stream. To take a general example, most people trust that junior doctors work in a normal, stable environment. Everything’s fine. There are no news stories to read. Things are normal. Then, ...

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