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26th Feb.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHLB09H3
Professor
Kelin Emmett
Semester
Winter

Description
26 Feb, 2013 PHLB09 Dax’s case and Euthanasia DONALD (DAX) COWART 1984 The view that the end results justifies whatever means necessary to achieve it is absurd. I suppose this would mean that… that if the only way an individual's life could be saved would be with treatment that would be as equally painful as being boiled in hot oil or being skinned alive will then, we should go ahead and use that treatment and I totally disagree. DAX AND KAREN COWART Donald (Dax) Cowart Karen and I first met in high school, but did not see each other again for 16 years. I had moved into this house and had been living here alone for about a year, when we had a chance meeting and started seeing each other. After seeing each other for a while we decided to get married and did get married in February of 1983 . Since that time, we've spent much of our time together redecorating, fixing up and making this our home together. Donald (Dax) Cowart I don't blame my mother for wanting to keep me alive and I understand now that had then her feelings and why she wanted to keep me alive. I ever… I feel that she should never have been placed in the difficult position of having to make such a decision. I feel that I, as a patient, should have been the only one to make that decision. As far back as I can recall, I have always felt a strong sense of independence and freedom from the time I was in grade school. I can remember being taught the principles of freedom and I've always supported them very strongly. My basic philosophy is that individual freedom, at least in respect to a competent adult, should never be restricted unless, it in… unless that unreasonably in affairs with the rights of other individuals. I've always felt that the term "Death with Dignity" was somewhat nebulous and really missed the point. Quality of life I feel is the issue. It will vary with different people. Some people are very equipped psychologically to handle traumatic experiences or handicap than… than others. The main point I feel is that the individual be allowed to decide what quality of life, what minimum quality of life is acceptable for him or her. To me, an unacceptable quality of life is determined by that point where an individual feels that he or she can just no longer tolerate the conditions surrounding their life physically and otherwise. For instance, in my case, if I were to lose my hearing, I cannot listen to music, read books, talk with people, any number of things that I enjoy now. And I feel that I would have an unacceptable quality of life at that point. Donald (Dax) Cowart I'm enjoying life now and it feels good to be alive. I still feel that it was wrong to force me to undergo what I had to to be alive. To make this clear, if the same thing were to occur tomorrow and knowing that I could reach this point, I would still not want to be forced to undergo the pain and agony that I had to undergo to be alive now. I would want that choice to lie entirely with myself and no others. Main issue in this case:  Dax felt that his decision and ability to make decision in this case was not respected and his decisions were not even considered. Dax’s request was refused by both the physicians and the farmer (he also asked the nurse) The physicians felt that it was their obligation to save his life “if im not able to save lives, why am I in medicine?” Issues in why the physicians and farmers made the decisions they did:  Responsibility of Dax’s death  The decision of whether or not Dax was competent at the time (informed consent) even though 2 psychiatrists came in and determined him to be competent to make medical decisions  Legal implications The mother was treated as the decision maker even though he was competent and didn’t need the surrogate decision maker Life extending technologies (“had I been in this accident 3 years ago, he wouldda been dead”): -Benefits and Burdens  Physical, emotional, spiritual and financial  Patient and family  “death with dignity?”  Ancient greeks “euthanasia” meant “good death” Options? :-  Suicide  Physician assisted suicide  Euthanasia: active and passive  Terminal sedation Suicide:
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