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Ethics

Applying Ethical Principles to Individual Advocacy 
Joan Gibson presentation summarized by Sara S. Hunt, National Ombudsman Resource Center (National Eldercare Institute on Elder Abuse and State Long Term Care Ombudsman Services) (1992)

This resource paper contains a discussion of the ethical dilemmas facing long-term care ombudsmen in their daily practice. It includes decisional capacity, the use of a values history and suggests a process ombudsmen might use for individual case advocacy.  

Advocacy in Ethical Issues: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach: A Guide for Ombudsmen 
Carolyn Wanner, National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (1995)

This technical assistance paper captures the panel presentations and the state long-term care ombudsman consensus during the “Advocacy in Sticky Situation” session at the 1994 annual state ombudsman training conference. A case study was presented followed by responses from different professional disciplines and a long-term care ombudsman. The unique role of the long-term care ombudsman and application to long-term care ombudsman program management were discussed and compiled.

Conflict of Interest and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (July 2009)
Identifying and preventing, removing or remedying conflicts of interest is not a simple task. There is not an established solution for every potential conflict of interest situation. Addressing conflict of interest requires continual vigilance, dialogue, assessing the potential impact on residents, and thoughtful strategies to remove or remedy the conflict. The easiest solution is to avoid the conflict of interest. This paper discusses the Older Americans Act provisions and dimensions of conflict of interest. Key resources and approaches utilized by several state and local ombudsman programs are included as examples of program management practices to address issues.

Ethical Issues in Ombudsman Advocacy 
Sara S. Hunt and Jean Wood, National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (1991)

This article summarizes a presentation by Joan Gibson and long-term care ombudsman consensus regarding appropriate long-term care ombudsman actions in case examples. There are three sections: an ethical framework for long-term care ombudsmen, ombudsman responsibilities with advance directive issues and ombudsman responsibilities with residents who cannot consent.

In-Service Training Guide for Ombudsmen: Ethical Issues in Case Advocacy (1989)
The purpose of this training guide is to sensitize ombudsmen to some of the ethical issues that arise in the course of case advocacy and provide guidance in resolving these issues. "Working Through Ethical Dilemmas in Daily Ombudsman Practice" is the primary resource for this training and should be read by the trainer before teaching this session.

Quick Reference Guide: Ethical Guide for Long-Term Care Ombudsmen (November 2010)
This quick reference guide provides an overview of the topic, foundation points for ombudsman practice and key resources for more in-depth knowledge and to improve ombudsman skills. Because there are a number of resources from which ombudsmen can gain information about ethics, the focus of this guide is identifying resources that discuss ombudsman practice related to working through ethical dilemmas.

Safety, Self-Determination, and Choice in Long-Term Care: The Consumer and Ombudsman Experience
Beverley Laubert & R. Michael Laubert, Chapter 5, Ethics, Law, and Aging Review, Vol. 9, 2003

This article uses case illustrations to discuss how long-term care ombudsmen handle their own view of protection against harm and the “right” course of action with their mandated responsibility to support consumer rights and autonomy to make decisions. The role of the advocate ombudsman as distinct from the role of other professions is delineated.

Working Through Ethical Dilemmas (1989)
Ethical issues arise when there are questions, or uncertainties, about the "right" thing to do in a given situation. An ethical issue can become a "dilemma" when an individual, or group of individuals, must choose between two or more plans/actions when no one choice is clearly satisfactory. While ombudsmen are well acquainted with ethical dilemmas that typically arise, guidance for working through some of these has been lacking. This paper describes some of the various ethical dilemmas that ombudsmen encounter. Neither specific solutions nor prescriptive guidelines are given to resolve the dilemmas.

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