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Section 9-19 - Reading Response 4 Bio&Soc205 Section 11...

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Bio&Soc205 Reading Response 4 Section 11 This week’s articles bring in a new side to the question of patient autonomy. The readings involve those who cannot make their own decisions: the elderly, the infant, and the unresponsive. Though they may all be at different points in their lives and each may have a different purpose in the world, they all share the inability to decide their fate. Judged as incompetent, these patients are no longer able to make demands and their lives have essentially fallen into the hands of others; The questions remains, should the “other” be a physician or family? Zussman reminds us that “decisions [are] not an event but a process”(159). There is no immediate answer to making the best choice in matters of life or death. There will always be a lot of scrutiny, many opinions, and many emotions involved and until one can combine all of these features into an ideal decision, the process is incomplete. He adds that, “physicians shape the wishes of patients and families.
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