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6 Audio clip 3: Ernest

At the time of the interview, Ernest was 28 years old. He was living in the Cyrenians' hostel, where he had been for some time. He was trying to find employment, and was contemplating a move to independent living. However, he felt somewhat frightened at the prospect of leaving the security of the hostel, which he likened to a family.

Ernest is from Kenya. He first came to Britain, and Swansea, as a student, eight years before the interview. You will hear about the difficulties he faced
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6.3 Responsibility for health and illness

In Activity 6 you explored factors which influence people's experience of health and we noted that inequalities in health are clearly related to the conditions of people's lives, such as their housing, income and education. On the other hand, health education messages have tended to focus on behav
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6.2 Concepts of Illness

Sontag (1979) wrote about the metaphors we use to describe illness. Metaphors are ways of speaking about something as if it were something else which is imaginatively but not literally applicable, for instance calling a new moon a sickle. Sontag was mainly concerned with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and AIDS, and how the metaphors we use can serve to stigmatise the sufferers, for instance referring to AIDS as a gay plague. But people use metaphors to explain illness to themselves
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

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1.3 The social work process

The social work process comprises a sequence of actions or tasks that draw on all of the components of practice discussed so far. Although its process is presented sequentially, it rarely follows a clear linear route and is more often a fluid, circular cycle whereby workers move from assessment through to implementation and evaluation and back to assessment again. Despite this fluidity, some parts of the process, such as assessment, have clearly defined procedures guided by local or national
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1.2 Values, ethics and anti-oppressive practice

As a profession, social work requires a specific qualification and registration with a professional regulatory body. Without this, people cannot call themselves ‘social workers’. Each of the four nations of the UK has a different regulatory body, each with its own set of standards and codes of practice that all registered social workers have to adhere to. In Wales, for example, social care workers must ensure their practice is informed by the Author(s): The Open University

4 Aerobic fitness training methods

Various training methods can be employed to develop aerobic fitness. In the activity below we explore some examples used by a team of footballers.

Activity 1

Allow about 40 minutes

Watch th
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Acknowledgements

This unit is taken from Perspectives on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Course Reader) which forms part of the core text for the Open University course K221 Perspectives on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, (eds Tom Heller, Geraldine Lee-Treweek, Jeanne Katz, Julie Stone and Sue Spurr) (The Open University) published by Routledge, Taylor and Francis in association with The Open University. Copyright © The Open University 2005.

Except for third party material
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3.18 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: maintain professional boundaries

All practitioners have a duty to create and maintain safe boundaries, irrespective of their therapeutic orientation, training or individual way of practising. The therapeutic relationship is based on trust and practitioners must never exploit users for their own ends. Practitioners should be aware that they may be working with users who have difficulty respecting boundaries, whether emotional, sexual or financial. Practitioners also need to be very clear about making their own boundaries expl
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3.15 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: respect for autonomy and consent

Many practitioners claim that the patient-centred nature of their therapy means they automatically respect the user's autonomy. On closer inspection, CAM practitioners’ commitment to respecting the users' wishes and values may be less patient-centred than they would like users to believe. Some CAM practitioners may fail to acknowledge users' rights, particularly in the area of risk disclosure and gaining consent to treat, or even touch, the user. Some CAM practitioners mistakenly believe th
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3.8 The centrality of consent

In the last 30 years there has been a strong move away from paternalism towards an emphasis on users' rights and involvement in the decision-making process. Nowadays, few users would accept treatment without knowing what it was or a health carer who withholds information about other treatment options. The importance of involving the user is exemplified by the need for practitioners to gain informed consent. This need to gain consent is enshrined in law, as well as being a central aspec
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3.4.1 Practitioners know intuitively what it means to act ethically

Many health practitioners claim they have never encountered an ethical dilemma during their practice. Is this credible, or does it suggest that some practitioners have an insufficiently developed awareness about what constitutes an ethical issue? How many people justify a hard decision simply by saying, ‘I did what felt right'? Gut instinct may currently guide practitioners through some of the complexities of therapeutic relationships, but this is not an adequate substitute for rigorous, re
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3.4 Myths about ethics

The media portray most ethical issues in highly charged terms, so it can be hard to understand what professional ethics is about, and what the full scope of ethical behaviour amounts to. In short, the media rarely explore the ‘grey’ areas of many ethical decisions. For example, the issue of abortion is viewed as either ‘pro choice’ or ‘pro life’. In this way the following myths about ethics are perpetrated.


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3.2 Ethics and health care relationships

Activity 9: Acting ethically

0 hours 30 minutes

Write down a few sentences about what you think ‘acting ethically’ means.

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2.8 The failure of CAM therapeutic relationships: wounded healers

Sometimes, practitioners allow their personal life and personal issues to become central to the therapeutic relationship. In a range of therapies, the practitioner is assumed to bring not only their skills but also their experiences to the therapeutic relationship. This has led to the concept of the ‘wounded healer’ (Nouwen, 1977): that is, a practitioner who, in experiencing physical, psychological or emotional pain, develops a greater understanding and empathy with other people's pain.
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this free course you should be able to:

  • understand the diversity of values associated with the use and provision of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) and explore some of the legal and ethical issues associated with CAM use;

  • reflect upon and critically evaluate personal and lived experiences of health in relation to CAM;

  • relate ethics and values to your own personal situation and to that of others within a given case study o
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4.3.1 Wind energy

When solar radiation enters the earth's atmosphere, because of the curvature of the earth it warms different regions of the atmosphere to differing extents – most at the equator and least at the poles. Since air tends to flow from warmer to cooler regions, this causes what we call winds, and it is these air flows that are harnessed in windmills and wind turbines to produce power.

Wind power, in the form of traditional windmills used for grinding corn or pumping water, has been in use
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6.2 The hierarchy of human needs

A second approach is to look at the human needs and wants from a more theoretical perspective. One such model was developed in the 1950s and 1960s by Abraham Maslow. Although it exists in many variants it is generally known as Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. In the most common interpretations it places the fundamental material needs of survival, such as food, shelter and safety at the base of a triangle, rising through social needs of belonging in human society, to
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4.2 The US experience: wasteful innovation?

In the 1950s and 1960s many industrialised countries experienced a prolonged period of economic expansion which, together with the rise of consumerism, created an increased demand for domestic appliances. With ready access to cheap supplies of fuel, there was little or no incentive for manufacturers or consumers to worry about energy conservation. Nowhere was this more evident than in the US, as the following extract from the influential book Factor Four of the design developments in d
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3.2 Migrations of life

As biologist and pioneer environmentalist Rachel Carson once wrote: ‘the stocking of the islands has been accomplished by the strangest migration in earth's history – a migration that began long before man appeared on earth and is still continuing’ (Carson, 1953, p. 66). Austronesian voyagers may have been the first people to venture far into open water, but many other species, as Carson suggests, have also found ways of negotiating passages across the ocean. Arriving at pockets of land
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