1. Castro, Aimee R. MA, MSc(A)-DE
  2. Tsimicalis, Argerie PhD, RN


As the population ages and medical therapies advance, more individuals are living in the community with complex health conditions. These individuals, as well as their clinicians, often assume their family members and friends will be capable of, and willing to, provide the caregiving work necessary to continue living at home. There is an ethical problem in this assumption that unpaid community care will be provided by family or friends. Using the Hunt and Ells Patient-Centered Care Ethics Analysis Model for Rehabilitation (2013), this article explores the ethical considerations involved in the hospital discharge planning of a fictional case involving a middle-aged, male stroke patient who is in a strained marriage. We discuss the ethical merits and concerns of the various discharge options. We conclude with recommendations to avoid assumptions that family or friends will provide unpaid care after a hospital discharge. We share advocacy suggestions for improving community supports for caregivers and those with long-term care needs.