RESPECT FOR AUTONOMY, ADVANCE DIRECTIVES, AND MINIMALLY CONSCIOUS STATE
In this article, I consider whether the advance directive of a person in minimally conscious state ought to be adhered to when its prescriptions conflict with her current wishes. I argue that an advance directive can have moral significance after its issuer has succumbed to minimally conscious state. I also defend the view that the patient can still have a significant degree of autonomy. Consequently, I conclude that her advance directive ought not to be applied. Then I briefly assess whether considerations pertaining to respecting the patient's autonomy could still require obedience to the desire expressed in her advance directive and arrive at a negative answer.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Turku, Finland
Publication date: November 1, 2011