病人照护和药物的道德贫困

剑桥-对病人照护,经济学家认为是一种“负担”,临床心理学家认为是一个“因应过程”,医疗卫生服务研究人员认为是一种医疗成本,而医生认为是一种临床能力。然而,对许多人来说,病人照护是道德体验的一个基本要素。它是一种承认、移情想象、见证、责任、团结和最具体的帮助行为。正是病人照护的这些道德方面,让照护人,有时候甚至是接受照护的人,感受到了更多的“存在”——并因而成为更完整的人。

但是,除了熟练的护理之外,职业治疗和理疗师进行的康复活动,社会工作者的实际帮助以及家庭健康护理和照护,特别是对健康严重受损和处于疾病晚期的病人的健康护理和照护,与当代的医学实践几乎没有什么关系。

为了阐明上述观点,我用我自己照护妻子的个人经历来加以说明——我妻子罹患严重的神经退变性疾病,这种疾病损害了她的记忆力和运动机能,使她独立生活的能力受到了影响。每天早晨,我将妻子叫醒,帮助她上厕所,洗澡,穿衣服,准备我们的早餐并帮她进餐。我扶着她走路,将她抱到椅子里,并放进我们的车里。我几乎一直和她在一起,以免她伤害自己,因为不管是在街上还是在我们家里,她都是既看不见东西也不能安全地行动。

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