Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Katharine Hill

Abstract

Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities need to engage in end of life planning, however it is essential to determine how their support networks fit into the process. As individuals with Intellectual Disabilities require support to live their daily lives, they too need support when making decisions surrounding medical treatments and end of life planning. The purpose of this study was to identify ethical implications for social workers, when working with Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities when engaging in end of life planning. Seven respondents participated in this study consisting of qualitative interviews. Each of the interviewees responded to similar question lists, written to elicit professional and personal opinions regarding end of life planning for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Respondents were identified through previous professional contacts of this researcher, and through professional contacts of faculty from the University of St. Thomas. The themes identified by this study were the importance of the care team relationship, individual client needs, communication, and discrimination in access to medical care. Each of the findings relate to implications for social work practice.

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