Eden Lin (Ohio State University): "Should We Respect the Past Desires of People with Dementia?"

Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Lewis Library 138

Eden Lin is an assistant professor of philosophy at The Ohio State University. He received his PhD from Princeton University and his BPhil from the University of Oxford. His main area of research is ethics.

Abstract: Consider a person with dementia who has a medical condition that requires a certain kind of treatment. Suppose that, although she now has no objection to undergoing such treatment, before she had dementia, she desired not to undergo such treatment were she ever to have dementia. Should we respect this person’s past desire not to undergo the treatment? The answer to this question will likely depend in part on the answer to a further question: would our respecting this past desire benefit this person (i.e., increase her well-being)? I will explore how different theories of well-being might answer this question, with an emphasis on the implications of desire-satisfaction theories of well-being.

Respondent: Stephanie Beardman