Dementia is a devastating disorder which may dramatically interfere with decision-making abilities. Effort has focused on trying to determine when a person is longer capable of making particular decisions or is globally incompetent. However, much less focus has been placed on understanding how the capacity to make decisions influences one's view of oneself, one's world and one's treatment by others. This book aims to broaden discussion around this issue by moving beyond a focus on tions of capability and competence to explore the importance of personhood and the underlying complexities of decision-making for those with dementia. Based on papers from the Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia (CRPD) workshop, experts in dementia care, law, ethics and philosophy discuss the interface between dementia, personhood and decision-making. Drawing on a wide range of interdisciplinary and international perspectives, the book forges new understandings of relationships between everyday, informal decision-making and more formal biomedical or legal processes for assessing competence. This collection of papers provides an in-depth understanding of decision-making in relation to dementia for researchers, healthcare practitioners, service providers, legal professionals and anyone with an interest in personhood in dementia care.
Deborah O'Connor received a Ph.D in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada in 1997. She is the founding Director of the Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia (CRPD) and an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She has worked in the field of dementia as a health professional and researcher for over 25 years. Barbara Purves received a Ph.D in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2006 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her current research is grounded in over 25 years of clinical experience as a speech-language pathologist working with people with acquired communication disorders, including dementia.