Ethics in Long Term Care

Ethicsin Long Term Care

Ethicsin Long Term Care

Observingethical guidelines in the managerial or administrative practices helpindividuals and organizations enhance their reputations and avoidpossible conflicts with clients and judicial systems. Ethics inlong-term care sector enhances the interaction between theadministrators and their clients (Evashwick&amp Riedel, 2004). Thispaper will address four major ethical challenges (including rationingof services, maintaining client’s confidentiality, client’sautonomy, and end-of-life decisions) that an administrator inlong-term care sector is likely to face.

Rationingof services

Scarcityof resources can affect all organizations. In the case of long-termcare organizations, the scarcity of resources may imply that thefacility will not be able to deliver adequate services to allclients. In such a situation, the administrator may be faced with anethical challenge and reason out on whether services should berationed depending on reimbursement of each client (Evashwick&amp Riedel, 2004). Thisis an ethical issue because rationing services might affect clients’health in a negative way.

Maintainingclient’s confidentiality

Maintainingthe confidentiality of clients is both an ethical and a legal issue.Although sharing of information among the health care providersenhances the treatment outcome (Evashwick&amp Riedel, 2004). However,an administrator faces the challenge of ensuring that the amount ofinformation shared is limited and does not infringe clients’ rightsto confidentiality.


Long-termcare facilities are mandated by law to give sufficient autonomy totheir clients. This means that client is supposed to be involved inthe process of making decisions that affect their health (Evashwick&amp Riedel, 2004). However,long-term care administrators face the challenge and an ethicaldilemma since they have to balance between the need to standardizeservices and delivering services that suit the needs of individualclients.


Clientshave the right to make end-of-life decisions, but the long-term careadministrator should ensure that they are competent when making suchdecisions. This presents a unique challenge because the administratorneeds to distinguish between the client’s competence and theability to make rational decisions. Making rational decisions doesnot necessarily mean that one is competent (Evashwick&amp Riedel, 2004).


Ethicsis among the most useful tools that long-term care administrators canuse to enhance their relationship with clients and prevent possiblelitigations. However, observing ethical guidelines means that theadministrators have to overcome numerous challenges and resolvedifferent ethical dilemmas.


Evashwick,C &amp Riedel, J. (2004). ManagingLong term care in managing long term care.Washington, DC: Association of University programs in HealthAdministration.