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AGENCY AND MORAL RELATIONSHIP IN DEMENTIA

BRUCE JENNINGS
Metaphilosophy
Vol. 40, No. 3/4, SPECIAL ISSUE: COGNITIVE DISABILITY AND ITS CHALLENGE TO MORAL PHILOSOPHY (July 2009), pp. 425-437
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24439794
Page Count: 13
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AGENCY AND MORAL RELATIONSHIP IN DEMENTIA
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Abstract

This essay examines the goals of care and the exercise of guardianship authority in the long-term care of persons with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of chronic, progressive dementia. It counters philosophical views that deny both agency and personhood to individuals with Alzheimer's on definitional or analytic conceptual grounds. It develops a specific conception of the quality of life and offers a critique of hedonic conceptions of quality of life and models of guardianship that are based on a hedonic legal standard of "best interests." As an alternative, it proposes a conception of quality of life based on the notions of "semantic agency" and "memorial personhood."

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