OBJECTIVES: To examine the context of home care and the values of providers and patients that lead to potential ethical conflicts. To discuss a normative model of ethical decision making, and to suggest resources for resolving ethical issues. DATA SOURCES: Published articles pertaining to ethical issues and home health care. CONCLUSIONS: Home care is a viable and beneficial alternative to hospital care for a variety of patients, yet home care can result in unique value conflicts between patients and their families, and patients and home care providers. Loss of privacy and determining who is in charge are several unique areas to home care that can lead to ethical problems. Policies, guidelines, value statements, and ethics committees are excellent resources to assist in ethical decision-making. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: A workable method or model to resolve ethical problems, and resources to assist in ethical decision-making can provide home care providers with guidelines to analyze an ethical problem and the support to choose and act on the best option.
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