More than 700,000 people in the UK currently suffer from dementia, and nearly 500,000 friends and family members act as carers for people with dementia. Our rapidly ageing population means that these numbers are likely to double in the next forty years. While we are getting to understand better the causes of the disease, and diagnostic and treatment options are improving, we are still a long way from prevention or cure. Meanwhile, these people and their families, healthcare staff and care workers face difficult ethical dilemmas on a day-to-day basis. An exploratory workshop was held in March 2007, and the Nuffield Council set up a Working Party in December 2007 to examine the ethical issues raised by dementia. Following a public consultation and meetings with stakeholders including people with dementia, carers, health professionals and other members of the public, a report with recommendations for policy makers was published on 1st October 2009.