Family members and professional care-givers are often confronted with challenging and self-destructive behaviours of people suffering from dementia, and it is not clear at all if these situations should be regulated by principles of autonomy or by principles of care, which consider the best interests of the patients. With reference to a thought experiment, this paper argues that it is not possible to control these situations by implementing principles of autonomy. Instead, while taking into account the patients’ capacity to consent, it is better to apply principles of care in challenging situations.
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