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The Relationship Between a Patient's Rights to Refuse Certain Treatments and How This Non-Compliance Relates to the Concept of Learned Helplessness in Individuals in a Hospital Setting
Word Count: 2,236
Category: Healthcare and Medicine
Word Count: 2,236
The objective of this essay is to discuss the relationship between a patients rights to refuse certain treatments or investigations and how this non-compliance relates to the concept of learned helplessness in individuals particularly in a hospital setting The concept of learned helplessness was first suggested by M Seligman an animal psychologist in 1975 During a series of experiments involving rats and dogs he discovered that the animals which had some control over their environment in being able to prevent a series of electric shocks would always try to avoid the undesirable stimulus whereas the animals which had previously had no control over their environment and so were unable to prevent the shocks eventually became apathetic and would not try to escape the stimulus even if it was possible to do so It was found that Because these animals have learned that nothing they did worked they did nothing Page 237 Brannon Feist 1992 The animals concerned had therefore learned to be helpless but had also learned to apply this helplessness to other situations where there was no perceived controllability The concept of learned helplessness has been criticised however Skevington 1995 notes three studies that criticise learned helplessness namely Dent Teasdale 1988 Lewinsohn et al 1981 and Skevington 1993 Skevington 1995 states All three studies showed little support for the learned helplessness antecedent hypothesis that depressive attributions precede depression Page 147 Skevington 1995 With particular regard to the duration of arthritis Skevington 1995 maintains that learned helplessness is not a significant feature a position she also maintains for chronic low back pain sufferers However Skevington 1995 does accept the presence of the concept of Universal Helplessness as having a wider theoretical basis than learned helplessness This leads us to the concept of the locus of control as hypothesised by Rotter 1966 In this theory he stated that there are personality types who have and external locus
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