College of Arts and Sciences

Facing Death Like a Professional: Navigating the Health Care System at the End of Life

First Mondays Series

Abraham Schwab, PhilosophyAbraham Schwab, assistant professor of philosophy

February 6, 2012

Every time you step into your doctor’s office, your doctor has a moral responsibility to look out for you. Unlike a salesman, who is expected to look out for his commission or his business, the doctor has an obligation to set aside his interests and take care of your needs. What it means to look out for your interests rests on two factors: the expertise of the physician and the things that you value. In this presentation, Schwab explored how your values can and should direct your medical care and the best ways to communicate these values to your personal expert (your doctor). He also looked at things you can do to ensure that these values are respected when medical decisions have to be made at the end-of-life and you’re not in a position to make them.