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Legal and Ethical Perspectives of Self

            I have interacted with a range of material for this course which has given me insights into the concept of self in the context of healthcare. The aspect of the reading material that has stood out the most to me so far is that personhood and the "self" in relation to the broader world can be understood in relation to two key domains: a legal perspective and an ethical perspective. .
             In terms of the conceptualization of personhood from the legal perspective, I understand that writers such as Atkins, Britton and de Lacey (2011) are arguing that the legal requirement of personhood includes being a homo sapien, having a living body, and being situated in an identifiable social situation. In terms of the ethical conceptualization of personhood, I understood the idea of ethical identity and moral agency to include such things as human dignity, subjectivity and a sense of right and wrong (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard-Kahn and Day 2008). .
             The learning materials have definitely made me rethink my understanding of "being a person" as well as what it means to express your sense of personhood in social systems. At first I made a strong connection with the idea put forward about legal rights (e.g. right to vote or the right give or not give consent) and the capacity to exist as a person. However, when I considered all of the legal "personhood" rights I have and that I am free to defend, I also started to reflect on what responsibilities I also have in relation to these rights. This also led me to reflect more on and what this means for my sense of personhood. .
             The video 'Wit' with Emma Thompson then really got me thinking. It seems to me that when people are in need of care because of serious illness there is the need for the health care professionals to accept responsibility to uphold the patient's sense of personhood. I was then reminded of the way in which governance organizations such as the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australian (2010) which produces competency standards for registered nurses in Australia.

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