Despite the fact that we are far from a population screening on dementia, the wish to detect dementia in early stages increases. More than once, this wish is supported by the argument that people need to be able to prepare themselves. This article focuses on this argument and analyses what the contents and strength of this argument can be. Two types of preparation can be distinguished: material and mental preparation. The first refers mostly to the arrangement of legal and financial matters, the latter to a loss of notions like autonomy, personhood and agency. An analyis of these notions shows that none of them unilatery support the idea that we need to screen dementia in early stages, before these capacities are lost, because it can be disputed whether we actually lose them. Only agency is partly applicable. The conclusion is therefore that we need to be careful with initiatives that lead to early detection of dementia. As longs as treatment options are still poor, the negative consequences can still outweigh the balance of positive consequences, like fear for dementia and the 'therapeutic illusion'.
|Tijdschrift voor verpleeghuisgeneeskunde
|Published - 2003