Home care

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The rise in home care of traditionally hospitalized patients raises ethical questions with regard to transferring the ill from professional medical care to other members of the family. The author believes that responsibility can be shifted ethically if certain conditions are met: these include well-defined criteria for patient selection, education programs for home care providers, criteria for both care givers and environment, continued research into the adequacy of therapy, and participation of health care professionals in the social process of assessing and reassessing the institutional structures of medical treatment.