227778 Social Justice All Around in Caregiving Relationships

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:48 AM

Marika D. Warren, PhD , Department of Bioethics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
Much literature on justice and caregiving by families focuses on obligations of or to the care giver(s). This overshadows the perspective of the care receiver and contributes to the disadvantage experienced by people with disabilities by ignoring or minimizing their agency when they are care receivers. I will therefore argue in this presentation that, if health policy is to be socially just, it must reflect the perspectives of everyone involved in caregiving, acknowledging obligations of and to all parties. This provides recognition of people with disabilities as equal partners in caregiving, which helps to reconceptualize and destigmatize being a care recipient.

The so-called “burden” of family caregiving falls disproportionately to female family members and is often assumed to be a matter of private rather than public concern. This constitutes an injustice for recipients and givers of care as well as for women. I will begin with a description of this injustice and then discuss briefly the ways in which the “burdens” of caregiving are affected by social policy, just as the “burdens” of disability are in part a reflection of policy decisions. Next, I will sketch an account of obligation to create socially just caregiving relations based on Iris Marion Young's social connection model of responsibility. Finally, I will describe socially just caregiving from the perspectives of the care recipient and the care giver and outline how these perspectives could be integrated in concrete policy proposals that meet the requirements of justice for people with disabilities and their family members.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain why social justice requires attention to care receivers as well as care givers 2. Describe considerations that should be taken into account to create socially just policy for care givers and care receivers. 3. Evaluate policy proposals addressing caregiving to determine the degree to which they support social justice

Keywords: Caregivers, Disability Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have researched extensively questions of justice and disability, including focusing on these issues in my doctoral training, and currently I am responsible for responding to ethics needs of health care providers and health policy personnel in Nova Scotia.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.