Case Consultation

Margaret Pabst Battin

in Ending Life

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195140279
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850280 | DOI:
Case Consultation

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Scott Ames and his wife Elaine were at the peak of their career when they discovered that they were infected with HIV. Scott not only had HIV infection, but he had early symptoms of AIDS. Due to depression, Scott began to plan his own “euthanasia”. His suicide attempt failed, though. Doctors would discover that he had brain lymphoma. A few days later he learned that his wife Elaine was filing for divorce. Scott refused all treatment for AIDS and for the lymphoma. Here is the dilemma: discharge him — to his death — or keep him hospitalized indefinitely against his will, in order to prevent him from committing suicide. Yet there is a third alternative: take Scott's interest in suicide as perhaps reasonable, certainly as an understandable choice for someone in his predicament, and work with him, not against him, in planning for it.

Keywords: AIDS; HIV infection; Scott Ames; suicide; depression; lymphoma

Chapter.  2737 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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