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Describe how to manage risks associated with conflicts or dilemmas between an individual’s rights and the duty of care

Qualification:Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care
Unit name: Duty of Care
Learning outcome: 2. Know how to address conflicts or dilemmas that may arise between an individual’s rights and the duty of care
Assessment criteria: 2.2 Describe how to manage risks associated with conflicts or dilemmas between an individual’s rights and the duty of care

In the previous section, we looked at some of the conflicts and dilemmas that may occur between duty of care and an individual’s rights.

You can respect an individual’s rights as well as fulfilling your duty of care by ensuring that you work in a person-centred way and promote positive risk-taking.
Positive risk-taking means ensuring that individuals are aware of all the benefits and risks associated with any decisions they make and measures are taken to reduce or eliminate the risk. You may do this by talking to the individual or helping them to obtain specialist advice. This should be documented so there is a record of your actions. By doing this, you have fulfilled your duty of care, even if the individual continues to make a risky decision.
You should also ensure that you, your colleagues and the individuals that you support have a good understanding of duty of care and are aware of your organisation’s agreed ways of working.
There could be some situations where you may have to go against the wishes and preferences of the individuals that you care for. For example:
  • if they do not have the mental capacity to make an informed choice for themselves
  • their decision is likely to result in harm to themselves or others
  • their decision will result in illegal activities
  • their decision goes against organisational policies and procedures
In these cases, you should explain to the individual why they are unable to make that choice. You should also speak to your manager for advice and guidance and record what has happened.