Advance Directives and Transformative Experience: Resilience in the Face of Change

American Journal of Bioethics 20 (8):69-71 (2020)
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In this commentary, I critique three aspects of Emily Walsh's proposal to reduce the moral and legal weight of advance directives: (1) the ambiguity of its initial thesis, (2) its views about the ethics and legality of clinical practice, and (3) its interpretation and application of Ronald Dworkin’s account of advance directives and L.A. Paul's view on transformative experience. I also consider what Walsh’s proposal would mean for people facing the prospect of dementia. I conclude that our reasons to honor many advance directives survive the move to a transformative experience framework.

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Govind Persad
University of Denver


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