In Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Values by Peter Singer

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In Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Values, Peter Singer examines ethical dilemmas that confront us in the twentieth century by identifying inconsistencies between the theory and practice of ethics in medicine. With advancements in medical technology, we focus on the quality of patients’ lives. Singer believes that in this process, we have acknowledged a new set of values that conflicts with the doctrine of the sanctity of life. Although the cases he presents Singer offers a lens through which we can examine non-treatment in terminal illnesses. Terminal illness is a disease that cannot be cured or adequately treated. Patients with terminal illnesses are reasonably expected to pass away within a short period of time. In these cases, all fully curative options are exhausted, but oftentimes, patients have opportunity to undergo treatment with the hope of extending their lives. Modern technology and medical revolutions allow us to combat these conditions. For example, advanced cancer, or that which has metastasized to different parts of the body, often carries a terminal diagnosis, but it can be treated with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. However, this route requires aggressive treatment at the expense of quality of life. On the other hand, patients can refuse treatment for their terminal condition, in which case physicians offer palliative or therapeutic treatment to relieve them of pain and stress. Such care can include medicines to treat symptoms such as pain, breathing difficulties, fatigue, and nausea. Treating the biological side of a terminal illness involves a spectrum of possible care that patient can pursue. Some wish to completely stop all medical treatment to avoid side effects ... ... middle of paper ... ...ce, Singer never directly addresses palliative care. His reasoning and commandments are focused on more extreme cases, such as anencephalics, babies born with deformities, and people in PVS. A majority of people do not begin or end life in these ways. Singer does not address the slow deterioration of health that many people experience as they age and approach death. The diagnosis of terminal illnesses, such as metastatic cancer and organ failure, SOCIAL COMPONENT In conclusion, Through his discussion of quality of life and death, Singer offers ethical guidelines for the decision to refuse treatment to prolong life in the case of a terminal illness. With its consideration of the patients, families, physicians, and others, he thoroughly considers the consequences of treatment and non-treatment. Due to Not a full treatment of the subject but offers guidelines

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