Quality of Life and Non-Treatment Decisions for Incompetent Patients
In their critique of the currently popular orthodox approach, Dresser and Robertson argue that it is not capable to make satisfactory ethical decisions. They assert that, the orthodox approach denies the incompetent patients to be treated as autonomous choice makers as they are, the directives of once competent patients may conflict with the interests of the incompetent self and, the advance directives are not specific enough to deliver the desires of the patients.
In this article, Dresser and Roberts say that as a result of the orthodox approach, conscious but incompetent patients’ interests are usually not considered. Therefore, they argue that orthodox approach deny incompetent…show more content… They respect the autonomy of the individual as incompetent and say that the advance directives are irrelevant if they disaccord with the interests of the patient as an incompetent individual. Therefore, in their new viewpoint, the incompetent patient’s current state is the considered when making a final decision about his or her well-being. As a result, “best interests standard” would be to ask whether the treatment will advance the current and the prospective welfare of the patient. According to them, the question in this standard should not be what the competent person would have wanted but what benefits the current state of that person. Dresser and Roberts then argue that as a result of adopting their new current interests approach, the current interests of the incompetent individual would be protected, the necessary undertreatment would be justified if the patient is not aware that he or she is dead or alive, concerns of the family can acknowledged that would otherwise result in unfair undertreatment of the incompetent patients, prevent proxies from making unprincipled decisions that would override the interests of the patients while still leaving some of the decision making to the