What Is and What Is Not Acceptable?

August 17, 2011
Two pairs of hands clasped together.

I'd like to take a different approach with this post and open it up to the readers, asking for their suggestions and opinions before offering my own.

The question at issue is whether it is morally and ethically acceptable to use atypical or nontraditional types of interventions during crisis moments. For example, is it okay to lie with the goal of having a calming effect on someone? On a similar note, is it all right to play along with someone’s hallucinations or delusions if you as the caregiver know that to do the opposite might infuriate the care receiver?

Similarly, what about using humor to avoid a confrontation? Is it acceptable to include offerings of food to entice someone to calm down? What about subterfuge or deception?

Just want to reiterate that the end goal of any of these techniques would be to de-escalate the crisis moment or behavior. Does the end justify the means? Please respond with your opinions, stories, and thoughts.

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