Coping with Choices to Die by Carlos Prado

By Carlos Prado

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Conversely, survivors also must be helped to avoid too readily supporting electors’ choices that are based on unsound reasoning or unacceptably motivated by problematic religious beliefs or cultural pressures. There is need for a book like this, then, despite the voluminous literature on suicide and assisted suicide. Many of the books currently available are about the ethical, fiduciary, and social obligations and responsibilities of health-care professionals and of spouses or relatives having discretionary say regarding the treatment of those who decide to end their lives by refusing treatment or more active means.

However, as I argued in Choosing to Die, it is necessary to have a sound theoretical basis to enable consistency regarding reasoning about elective death, and developing that basis inevitably involves abstraction. Health-care Feelings: Their Influences and Control 27 professionals in particular cannot properly deal with elective death in the way too many now attempt to do, which is on the basis of institutional routines, emulation of senior practitioners, anecdotal models, and debatable personal intuitions.

15 Children emulating their parents and peers as they grow and are socialized illustrates what Foucault and Dewey mean about character formation. Children’s adoption of behavioral practices begins with unreflective, unintentional imitation of parents’ and peers’ verbal and nonverbal behavior. Unintentional imitation continues for a time, usually complemented and enhanced by partially or occasionally intentional mimicry prompted by the desire to be approved of and accepted. Eventually, both intentional and unintentional mimicry pass into unreflective habitual behavior, which comes to be simply the way the maturing children do things and, indirectly, the way they think.

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