A body and a mind under duress reacts much differently than a body and mind in normal circumstances. On a primal level, I think the mind’s main purpose is to protect the body from harm or to alleviate the pain once it is occurring. For that reason, a person who is in excruciating pain or has just undergone a traumatic life change is not mentally capable of making a rational decision about ending their life. Moreover, there is no rational decision one can make about ending one’s life. Dax Cowart was in excruciating pain from the severe burns on his body. In addition to that he also had the combined effect of trying to mentally prepare for a life as a disfigured human being. Due to his pain he was not able to fully comprehend or think rationally about what kinds of things his future might hold. Because of Dax’s mental state due to his pain and his exposure to extreme changes in his life, I believe that, no, Dax Cowart should not have been allowed to refuse medical treatment and end his life at any point in the healing process. In this paper I will discuss three arguments for why this is so.
The first reason I will discuss as to why Dax should not have been allowed to refuse treatment is because if a person is suicidal then that person is not rational. In my observations, the primary goal of a human is to preserve life. Our body produces chemical reactions when we are in danger in order to assist in preserving life. An article at Health Science.com says it pretty clearly: “Essentially, our nervous system not only keeps us informed about the world outside us and inside us, but it also allows us to react to it. Every muscle we move, everything we physically feel, and every tissue in our body is controlled or monitored by our nervous system. If we sense we are in danger, our body naturally alters its chemistry in order to prepare us for a fight or flight emergency.”...
Bibliography: Health Science.com article. “Panic and Anxiety Attacks and the Nervous System”
Intervention and Reflections: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics. Eighth Eddition. Munson, Ronald. Thomson Wadsworth 2004.
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