On different types of dignity in nursing care: a critique of Nordenfelt

Authors

  • Paul Wainwright SRN DipN Lond (Dist) DANS Msc RNT PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean (Research),
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  • Ann Gallagher SRN RMN BA MA PhD

    1. Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, Kingston University and St George's, University of London, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK
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Professor Paul Wainwright, Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, Kingston University and St George's, University of London, Sir Frank Lampl Building, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames KT2 7LB, UK. Tel.: +44 208 547 8718; fax: +44 208 547 8718; e-mail: p.wainwright@hscs.sgul.ac.uk

Abstract

Abstract  Dignity appears to be an important concept in nursing philosophy and more widely in health care policy and provision. Recent events in the UK have generated much interest in the subject. However, there appears to be some confusion about the precise meaning and application of the concept. An influential contribution to the debate has come from Nordenfelt, who, as part of a European project investigating dignity and the care of older people, has proposed a four-part typology of dignity. In this article, we will explore some of the background to the dignity debate in UK nursing and health care, give a brief overview of Nordenfelt's position, offer some criticisms of his work and propose some modifications to his view.

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