Sunday, January 15, 2012

Whose interest?

I was reading an article about ethics. The dilemma below seemed to me to fit nicely with the concerns about hospitalizing peers, calling the police, force, and maybe open up a way to think about it:

“Whose interests am I holding at the moment? … I don't think you can pursue everyone's interests at the same time. So whose interests are we going to hold paramount?”

So if someone is harming others, it seems clear to me that the community ought to be protected – police, hospital, talking down, …

If someone is unable to care for themselves, can peers tide the person over or does this need long term intervention. Are we intervening in the interest of the individual or ourselves, not willing to see the deterioration, or the community, a social good?

And then, the hardest one, if someone is or wants to harm themselves. In whose interest do we intervene?

Licensed practitioners have a legal duty; Second Story*, because of it's funding and integration in the System of Care, has almost a full legal duty. Individuals may want to pass on the responsibility to the system, not want to be responsible. Intellectually, I believe my life is mine to care for or dispose of – in practice it becomes not as clear about when to intervene or whether to.

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