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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

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

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter

Heike Gudat

Kathrin Ohnsorge

Oxford University Press

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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