Delirium is a major health care problem with potentially serious consequences. Sub-optimal management is an unfortunate but pervasive hallmark of the disorder. We argue that lapses in the care of delirious patients are related to the peculiarities of delirium as a disorder that affects the “self” of the sufferer. Therefore, corruption of self renders behaviour outside the control of the delirious individual and places the person at risk of mechanistic dehumanisation. A proposed solution is to foster an expanded view of the self, taken from recent philosophy and cognitive science, which would allow the clinician to understand pathological behaviour as indicative of disruption to thought. An ethics of care approach that reframes the patient/carer relationship is proposed. These unique propositions could, together, facilitate the development of a framework of more caring and effective practices and relationships for delirium treatment.