"Rejecting the Margins of Agency: Alzheimer's Patients and the Capacity to Value" Discussion Questions

Agnieszka Jaworska
  1. In section II, Jaworska engages with Dworkin’s thoughts about promoting the well-being of Alzheimer’s patients. What is Dworkin’s view, and how does Jaworska challenge it? Be sure to explain her conception of valuing, the role of patient examples in her argument, and what she takes away from neuroscience.
  2. What are the key marks of valuing, for Jaworska? Given these key marks, why does she think that valuing doesn’t require one have a conception of one’s life as a whole? Explain why this is crucial to challenging Dworkin’s position about how we should care for Alzheimer’s patients.
  3. Why does Dworkin think that Alzheimer’s patients aren’t capable of autonomy? Explain Jaworska’s arguments against his suggestion. What does Jaworska think is the starting point for the capacity for autonomy? Why? And what implications does this have for how we should engage with Alzheimer’s patients?
  4. At the end of her paper, Jaworska gestures at a moral problem that advance directives can raise when it comes to Alzheimer’s patients. Explain this moral problem, and explain why it arises given what she has argued in the paper. What do you think about it? Why?
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