Laurel Mast, Oregon Health & Science University, has made available for download her article, Against Autonomy: How Proposed Solutions to the Problems of Living Wills Forgot its Underlying Principle, published in Bioethics, Vol. 34, Issue 3 (2020). The Abstract is as follows:
Significant criticisms have been raised regarding the ethical and psychological basis of living wills. Various solutions to address these criticisms have been advanced, such as the use of surrogate decision makers alone or data science‐driven algorithms. These proposals share a fundamental weakness: they focus on resolving the problems of living wills, and, in the process, lose sight of the underlying ethical principle of advance care planning, autonomy. By suggesting that the same sweeping solutions, without opportunities for choice, be applied to all, individual patients are treated as population‐level groups—as a theoretical patient who represents a population, not the specific patient crafting his or her individualized future care plans. Instead, advance care planning can be improved through a multimodal approach that both mitigates cognitive biases and allows for customization of the decision‐making process by allowing for the incorporation of a variety of methods of advance care planning.
Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.