Agency and moral relationship in dementia

Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):425-437 (2009)
Bruce Jennings
Vanderbilt University
This essay examines the goals of care and the exercise of guardianship authority in the long-term care of persons with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of chronic, progressive dementia. It counters philosophical views that deny both agency and personhood to individuals with Alzheimer's on definitional or analytic conceptual grounds. It develops a specific conception of the quality of life and offers a critique of hedonic conceptions of quality of life and models of guardianship that are based on a hedonic legal standard of “best interests.” As an alternative, it proposes a conception of quality of life based on the notions of “semantic agency” and “memorial personhood.”
Keywords dementia  self  agency  goals of care  guardianship  personhood  caring  Alzheimer's disease  quality of life
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2009.01591.x
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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Women and Human Development.Martha C. Nussbaum - 2003 - Mind 112 (446):372-375.

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