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April 10 , 2009

Compulsive Hoarding: The Ethical Dimensions


An ethics resource for the community health sector

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This guidebook will provide a brief overview of compulsive hoarding, a review of relevant legislation, and consideration of the ethical tensions. A case study will walk through a reflective decision-making process in action. A resource list will be provided, to offer more in-depth information about practical ways to help an individual who hoards, and links for legal resources.

This guidebook has emerged out of observations that the literature and practice base on the subject of compulsive hoarding remains in a nascent stage, where emphasis is placed on practical skills and strategies to assist the individual. Recognition and articulation of the ethical tensions of doing so is not as readily discussed. This guidebook hopes to commence this ethics dialogue, as well as to normalize the moral tensions many wishing to help are likely to experience.

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