End-of-Life Care and Pragmatic Decision Making: A Bioethical Perspective

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Overview

Every one of us will die, and the processes we go through will be our own unique to our own experiences and life stories. It is reasonable to reflect on what kinds of dying processes may be better or worse for us as we move toward our end. Such consideration, however, can raise troubling ethical concerns for patients, families, and healthcare providers. Even after forty years of concerted focus on biomedical ethics, these moral concerns persist in the care of lethally impaired, terminally ill, and inured patients. End-of-Life Care and Pragmatic Decision Making provides a pragmatic philosophical framework based on a radically empirical attitude toward life and death. D. Micah Hester takes seriously the complexities of experiences and argues that when making end-of-life decisions healthcare providers ought to pay close attention to the narratives of patients and the communities they inhabit so that their dying processes embody their life stories. He discusses three types of end-of-life patient populations adults with decision-making capacity, adult without capacity, and children (with a strong focus on infants) to show the implications of pragmatic empiricism and the scope of decision making at the end of life for different types of patients.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521130738
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2009
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

D. Micah Hester is Associate Director of the Division of Medical Humanities and Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas Medical System, as well as clinical ethicist at Arkansas Children's Hospital. The author and editor of eight books and numerous journal articles, he coordinates the Pediatric Ethics Consortium as well as the Pediatric Ethics Affinity Group of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

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Table of Contents

1. Crito revised; 2. Blindness, narrative, and meaning: moral living; 3. Radical experience and tragic duty: moral dying; 4. Needing assistance to die well: PAS and beyond; 5. Experiencing lost voices: dying without capacity; 6. Dying young: what interests do children have?; 7. Caring for patients: cure, palliation, comfort, and aid in the process of dying.

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