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Abstract 摘要

How is the body articulated in language and discourse during end-of-life decision making? How do individuals and their family members represent and define the relationships between person, body, and self? Recently, studies have been conducted on the decision-making process in the field of end-of-life care. Most researchers focus on patients’ determination (vis-à-vis physicians’ beneficence), which gives rise to a plethora of issues, such as patients’ self-identity, self-continuity, relationships, freedom of choice, and rights.

In this paper, end-of-life decision making is considered from the perspective of the relationship between the body and one’s personal identity. It is argued that the current bioethical discourse on individual autonomy and patients’ rights is inadequate to address the ethical issues relating to end-of-life decision making. Instead of purely theoretically conceptualizing the sovereignty of the patient over his or her body, the author explores the issue in relation to the phenomenology of lived-body experience as described by the American bioethicist Margret P. Battin. The rights available to the patient are not the only significant issue during end-of-life decision-making; aspects of the patient’s physicality are also relevant. Discourse on representations of the body and embodied action/autonomy aids our understanding of end-of-life choices. Finally, these body-related issues are linked with the Confucian understanding of what a person is. According to Confucian ethics, personal identity should not be viewed as an abstract “thing”; instead, it is defined by a person’s relationships with others, especially family members, in his/her most vulnerable moments.

對於生命終極的關懷,臨終決策是現代生命倫理學不可忽視的一個重大話題。本文試圖從身體的角度論證當代生命倫理學話語由於失落了身體而陷入一場深刻的危機。具體而言,本文將通過對臨終決策困境的分析展示危機的根源,論證身體經驗及相關倫理關係是生命倫理學不可或缺的基礎。作者認為,只有作為身體倫理,生命倫理學才能充分實現它的學術追問和學科理念。身心二元論只是一個虛構,身體性存在才是人格同一性的真正基礎。因此,建設生命倫理學不只是擁抱某些抽象的自主原則,或是某些精緻的道德主體的體系,更關鍵的問題是要回答“我們希望成為何等樣的人,希望將來生活在怎樣的世界中”。

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