Chema Antequera

Lawyer and Nurse

Professor of Health Law and Bioethics


What is humanization for you?

Beforehand, I must indicate that my reflections will be linked to a legal vision; perspective that in many occasions is not taken into account, although the legal norms configure rights that define and put face to the humanization in the health care.

Possibly everyone has a very accurate idea of ​​what humanization is, and more clearly what dehumanization is. Any of us can identify dehumanizing acts in any area of ​​our professional activity; and also everyone identifies faces of humanization in their professional day to day. For me it is essential to link and sustain humanization on the concept and value of the dignity of the person: it is the key. Currently the concept or idea of ​​”humanizing health care” is criticized, and it is identified as a pure posture, a fad or passing bubble; something about it, let’s be honest; For example, we now label “humanization” and recently it was “bioethics.” If this posturing, if that fashion, if that bubble, etc. makes it possible to stop our professional day-to-day life and reflect on personal dignity in health care, as “objective accomplished”. Today we have to take advantage of this social and professional interest on “humanization in health care”.

As I said before, we would all know how to put cases of “dehumanization in health care”, and also of “humanization in health care”, I vindicate the sanitary humanization of the daily life of the next (a humanization in communication, in listening and in the provision of care). In any case the essential, fundamental, essential value to defend is the DIGNITY OF THE PERSON; This must be the meeting point for all actions, acts, processes, decisions, etc. that develop “humanization in health care.”

Humanization would be the mechanisms and professional acts that strengthen the dignity of the person.

Where should humanization begin?

From a vision of citizenship, humanization training (understood as a group of ethical-legal values) must begin in schools; I believe that the training programs should include contents related to health and illness, including the care of people at different stages of their lives. And of course, in the Nursing Degree this term of humanization permeates all the subjects. My professional experience analyzing many legal-assistance conflicts is that training in the nature of the fundamental rights of people should be enhanced to the degree, and thus extend the professional nurse technique of weighting rights in case of conflicts or tensions between them. If the beginning of training in humanization is relevant, continuity is more relevant, and now we are committed to the generalization of clinical-legal sessions (SCJ) in health and social-health centers.

Because of your experience as a nurse and lawyer based on the questions and comments you receive, how do you think HUGES should focus your activities?

Every day, he observes that one of the most important deficits that management teams and healthcare professionals have is legal training, and as I said before, the mechanism for the relationship of the fundamental rights of patients treated in health institutions. Consequently HUGES and with the objective of humanization in management (decision making) could:

a) develop models of protocols of legal variables linked to humanization;

b) propose forums for humanization debate in health management;

c) prepare a white paper on health organizing standards and the ethical principles that support it.

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