The Good DeathAnn Neumann


I thought I understood the greater need for autonomy in the end of life healthcare system until Neumann challenged my moral limits concerning that need in The Good Death. In her book, Neumann provokes the reader to consider, if patients need autonomy, why not allow them the choice to shorten their suffering and end their lives earlier? The question shocked me. I had never considered that, had my dad had more autonomy over how he had lived the end of his life and died, I would want to enable him so far as to help him with his own death. Perhaps it seems like more of a far off reality to me because my dad never fully acknowledged his own death, but I cannot imagine another set of circumstances in which I would advocate for his death. Even as I recognize I may not be justified in prioritizing my needs as a family member, I grapple with this question and cannot see a clearly defined answer. I still believe in the need for autonomy in the end of life healthcare system, but where is the line drawn, and at whose cost?