A fascinating article about the profound ethical dilemmas associated with caring for people suffering from dementia, and in particular on the ethics of being truthful. By Larissa MacFarquhar in the New Yorker, October 8, 2018.
The article describes how medical ethicist Maartje Schermer believes that “To reject happy delusion on principle seems to her too puritanical, too rigid. Besides, she believes, once a person with dementia has lost the capacity to tell the difference between truth and falsehood, or, really, to hold beliefs at all, that person has also lost the capacity to be lied to. ‘When there is only pain and no capacity left to deal with that pain, to really understand or come to grips with it, nor even to remember it for very long, then the truth cannot contribute to a good life.'”