Avoiding Prolonged DementiaHastings Center Report (2018)
The scourge of Alzheimer's is daunting. For me, the specter of being mired in progressively degenerative dementia is an intolerably degrading prospect. One avoidance tactic -- suicide while still competent – risks a premature demise while still enjoying a tolerable lifestyle. The question arises whether an alternative tactic -- an advance directive declining all life-sustaining intervention once a certain point of debilitation is reached -- might be preferable as a device to avoid a prolonged, unwanted limbo. My article in the forthcoming Hastings Center Report (HCR) presents the legal and moral foundation for my advance directive declining even simplistic interventions at a relatively early stage of post-competence cognitive decline. It is titled “On Avoiding Deep Dementia” and the cite is 48:4 HCR (July/August 2018). A final draft is attached, including excerpts from my own directive. HCR solicited 3 commentaries on my article from several bioethicists, including Rebecca Dresser and Daniel Sulmasy. Those commentaries appear in the same HCR edition.
- Advance Directive,
- End of life options
Publication DateSummer August 15, 2018
Citation InformationNorman L Cantor. "Avoiding Prolonged Dementia" Hastings Center Report Vol. 48 Iss. 4 (2018)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/norman-cantor/11/