Music Therapy and Dementia: Rethinking the Debate Over Advance Directives

Ethics Education 20:18-35 (2014)
Ronald Dworkin argued that Advance Directives informed by a principle of autonomy ought to guide decisions in relation to the treatment of those in care for dementia. The principle of autonomy in play presupposes a form of competence that is tied to the individual person making the Directive. This paper challenges this individualist assumption. It does so by pointing out that the competence of a patient is inherently relational, and the key illustrative case to make this point is the case of music therapy. In music therapy, a relatively recent treatment modality in aged care, patients previously thought to be permanently unresponsive are shown on the contrary to be capable of significant levels of social agency. The conclusion to draw is that Advance Directives that fail to acknowledge the real possibility of such relational competence are misapplied.
Keywords Music therapy  Dementia  Autonomy  Advance Directive  Neuroethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Suicide by Advance Directive?D. Sontheimer - 2008 - Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (9):e4-e4.
Respect for Other Selves.Craig Edwards - 2011 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 21 (4):349-378.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
160 ( #37,051 of 2,287,891 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
16 ( #27,767 of 2,287,891 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature