Dr. William Dale on End-Of-Life Medical Choices
Radio Interview: 28 November 2012
I interviewed Dr. William Dale on "End-Of-Life Medical Choices" on 28 November 2012. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio 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)
You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
- 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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My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle
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.
About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. 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 second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.