Dr. William Dale on End-Of-Life Medical Choices
Radio Interview: Wednesday, 28 November 2012
I interviewed Dr. William Dale on "End-Of-Life Medical Choices" on Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday, 28 November 2012. You can listen to or download the podcast below.
Many people struggle with difficult decisions about complex medical problems as they near the end of their lives. That time is wrenching for family too. How can people make good decisions about medical care? What mistakes should they try to avoid? How can people prepare for that future now?
Dr. William Dale is a geriatrician at The University of Chicago Medicine with a doctorate in health policy and extensive experience in oncology. He has devoted his career to the care of older adults with cancer – particularly prostate cancer. Dr. Dale has a special interest in the identification and treatment of vulnerable older patients who have complex medical conditions, including cancer. He is actively researching the interactions of cancer therapies with changes associated with aging.
Note: This was one of my favorite episodes ever, because I learned so much more than I expected. I recommend that you invite your spouse, siblings, parents, and adult children to listen to it with you, and then talk about these difficult issues with them.
- Duration: 59:09
- Download: MP3 File (13.6 MB)
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My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook.
Does the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame? In his famous article "Moral Luck," philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters – even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the "problem of moral luck."
In Responsibility & Luck, I argue that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle's theory of moral responsibility, I explain the sources and limits of a person's responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, I show that moral judgments are not undermined by luck. In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.
Responsibility & Luck is scholarly but accessible to active-minded people interested in philosophy. You can preview the book by reading Chapter One and Chapter Three as PDFs – or by listening to my reading of Chapter One.
- Dr. Dale's work
- End-of-life challenges for the patient
- End-of-life challenges for others
- The choice of more versus less treatment
- Doctors telling patients the whole truth
- What patients can do to get more and better information
- Patients' regrets about treatment
- The importance of knowing one's own preferences
- Dealing with family problems
- Living will versus power of attorney
- Talking to the person with your power of attorney
- The emotions of dealing with death
- Being a supportive and reasonable family member
- Conflicts between in-town-and out-of-town family
- Conflicts in the family over care
- The "five stages of grief"
- Differences between ethnic groups about end-of-life care
- How Doctors Die by Dr. Ken Murray
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About Philosophy in Action Radio
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
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I can be reached via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.