Review from the text * 382-385 (Opinion in Canterbury V. Spence)

Review from the text – 382-385
(Opinion in Canterbury V. Spence) Court
 Important ideas from the article
 Individuals have the right to determine fate
 Individuals have the right to decide once
information presented
 Doctor’s responsible to inform patient so patient
can make a decision based on the information
Who decides and What?
 What is competency? How would you define it?
 Defined as the ability to make rationale decisions
 What is self-determination?
Free choice of one's own acts or states without external
Being an adult they are presumed to be competent, determine
incompetence is the burden of others – WHY? Explain
There are times when society has to infringe on a person’s
right to choose. Give an example:
The mentally ill or mentally disabled. Must go before a court.
Adult’s have the right to make decisions about
their treatment / body.
 Should this apply to things in society that are legal
but harmful?
 Eating poorly?
 Is there or should there ever be a limit?
Difficulty with the law
 Becomes tricky and the law gets involved
when a person refuses treatment that would
be lifesaving.
 Which is why a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate)
What about things not illegal
but harmful?
 Refusing to quit smoking or to stop
eating poorly.
 Recently on You-tube a girl claimed for
money she would eat until she weighed
1000 pounds.
 Is she incompetent? Everyone knows
gaining that much weight is unhealthy. Is
she crazy? Does she have that right?
 With the over weight question. If we are
paying for this person health care (either
through Health Care plan or Medicare) do we
have a say?
 We would question whether the person fully
appreciates the ramifications for accepting as
well as denying treatment? Should we?
Denying a person self-determination
 What is Self-Determination?
 When should the person’s independence and self-
determination should be overruled?
 In Eight Pounds, Will Smith’s character climbs
into a tub full of ice with Box Jelly Fish which are
deadly. Do we have the right to stop him?
According to the text
 “autonomy drops out altogether as
a moral consideration in decisions
about respecting refusal of
 Thoughts?
Real Life Case
 Could you serve on a jury if a person was
being challenged by the family or state for
being incompetent simply because they
refused to stop doing something legal but

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