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Lecture

PHL283 Jan 20 2011
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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL283H5
Professor
Jonathan Peterson
Semester
Winter

Description
PHL283 January 20 th Dax’s Case - was involved in a fire accident with his father o car fire/explosion - asked the farmer to bring him a gun so he can put himself out of his misery o did not want to go to the hospital – just wanted to die - recovered from his injuries and survived - throughout the time was in the hospital getting treatment for his horrible burns, he continuously asked that his treatment be ceased – tried to refuse treatment o he wanted the doctors to stop and let him die Movie Questions 1. What conception of the physician/patient relationship were Dax’s doctors working with? What do you think was motivating the physicians who were taking care of him? - had no dependency, no children… - respect patient’s feelings – relationship between Dax and the nurse was an honest one o told her he wanted to die, and asked the nurse to assist him - everything about his treatment was discussed with his mother - the physicians were motivated by the fact that his chance of survival were high, and that his treatment would work and allow him to live o if the technology advances allowed for someone to live, why should they let someone die? - the conception of the physician/patient relationship – paternalistic relationship o didn’t take Dax seriously – well-being of the patient – raise questions about his mental health o “is an angry child” … o the obligation of the physician – to give the best treatment he could o the obligation of the patient – to accept the care 2. What reasons and values motivated Dax’s mother in her decisions? - she had no knowledge of anything so she simply signed over the agreement allowing Dax to be treated - all permission forms for treatment were signed by her - was never in favour of his refusal for treatment, she believed it was not really his desire and that he was not in the right state of mind to make such a decision - doesn’t believe she could ever reach the decision he wanted – is too hard to give up a child - now that Dax is married and living his life – she believes her decision to keep him alive was the right one, and she’s glad she kept him alive all this time, and that she allowed him to get treatment o she knows its right now - religious values would forbid the decision made by Dax - didn’t want to make an irreversible decision by impulse of Dax’s desires 3. What reasons and values motivated Dax in his decisions? - he believed he was a “dead man” anyway and his excruciating pain was not worth it - doctors believe his requests were made so that he could control his environment o he said he had no desire to control anyone, he just wanted to get his relief - when he was transferred to Texas, his skin began getting infecting and his pain increased and he was near death once again o at that time, he wanted to refuse treatment again because he dint believe the pain was worth it - believes individuals have the right to choose on the basis of their own life - was forcibly treated for 10 months – was in constant pain and could not see any future whatsoever - according to Dax, he gave permission for treatment so that he could get out of the hospital, not because he changed his mind - after he was out of the hospital, could not go anywhere without someone, had to depend on someone for practically everything – felt more or less like a caged animal – did not have the independence that he used to have before - felt that since he was so disfigured and scarred that he would not have a meaningful relationship ever – would not want to go out at all when he returned home - took an overdose of sleeping pills and painkillers – got his stomach pumped - got married, and began enjoying life - he did not blame his mother but believes that the decision was still his as he was a competent adult - he believes that unless the rights of someone interferes with the rights of others, they are entitled with the right to make their own decisions regarding anything, including life and death - as individuals, we have the right to act on our owl peril – be wiling to take risks and accept the consequences, and they are your own choices to make - the idea of autonomy – right of self determination o the right to control your own body is something that are born with, not something you get from the government, physicians, or your kin  the right to do what you may with your own body - people are the best judges for their own interests o consequences will be the best if people get to make their own decisions - even if one was to make bad or foolish decisions, it is the individual’s right to make the decision 4. Do you think that Dax was competent to decide that he wanted to refuse treatment? - he was burned, but his mental capacity was fine o however, he was in a state of grievance because he recently lost his father - however, during the time of his treatment, his request did not change, and he did not want to get better and wanted to die - according to the doctor, burn patients such as him are not competent to make such a decision because of the turmoil they have been through - two psychiatrists assessed Dax and concluded that he was not mentally ill or incompetent to make his decisions o his yearning to die was not a product of mental illness - what’s the difference between someone who’s competent and someone’s
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