UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An ethical process for elder mediators : responding to questions that arise when there are vulnerable or incapable participants Braun, Joy Anne Fay


Elder mediation is a process for resolving conflicts between older adults and their families. Some scholars have argued that older adults may be disadvantaged in elder mediation. At particular risk are older adults who have diminished cognitive capacity or are victims of elder abuse. Older adults in those situations may bargain away their legal rights in mediation due to having less negotiating ability. In this thesis I examine this issue through a review of scholarly literature, laws and policies. I identify situations where vulnerable or incapable older adults may be harmed in mediation. I argue that elder mediators must choose an appropriate course of action in these situations to ensure that the older adult participant is not harmed. Many of these decisions have ethical considerations. I then examine existing ethical codes and demonstrate that these do not provide sufficient guidance to elder mediators in these situations. In order to fill this gap, I propose that elder mediators adopt an ethical decision–making process. I argue that elder mediators can effectively use this ten-step process and demonstrate how to use it in practice by applying it to a typical elder mediation scenario.

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