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The Patient's Wish to DieResearch, Ethics, and Palliative Care$
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Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Heike Gudat, and Kathrin Ohnsorge

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713982.001.0001

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Dialogue intermezzo: I

Dialogue intermezzo: I

Chapter:
(p.119) Chapter 11 Dialogue intermezzo: I
Source:
The Patient's Wish to Die
Author(s):

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter

Heike Gudat

Kathrin Ohnsorge

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713982.003.0011

The participants discuss whether it is appropriate to refer to wishes to die as subjective ‘experiences’, or whether they should rather be addressed as part of a ‘purposive action’ or a ‘plan’. Yasmin Gunaratnam suggests that we should see a wish to die as a ‘hybrid object’, meaning that it is a subjective experience, but one that is also framed by its conceptualizations across various disciplines. Alexandre Mauron acknowledges that a physician’s own values may influence the interpretation of a patient’s wish, and sees such wishes as both a subjective experience and an action with a purpose. Tracy Schroepfer, like Gary Rodin, adds that the subjective intentions behind such wishes are diverse and not amenable to simple categorization. Only a few patients express a wish to die that actively pursues a plan to hasten death.

Keywords:   wish to die, hasten death, purposive action, experience, values

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