As of today, Bill Peace’s essay “Comfort Care as Denial of Personhood” is online – and accompanied by three commentaries available at the Hasting Center Bioethics Blog.
Here’s what we wrote before about the experience at the center of Bill’s essay:
Back in 2010, our friend, colleague and ally Bill Peace, experienced a long, expensive health crisis when he experienced a stage IV skin breakdown – with a long treatment process that was physically and emotionally grueling by his own accounts.
While Bill was hospitalized – and at one of his lowest points healthwise – he was subjected to a late night visit by a hospitalist. Laying out a grim set of possible outcomes for Bill’s health crisis, the doctor seemed to be urging Bill to just discontinue antibiotics and let himself be given palliative care to be pain-free until the infection took him.
Below are the links to Bill’s essay, and the three commentaries:
Comfort Care as Denial of Personhood by William J. Peace
Commentaries/Reactions to Comfort Care as Denial of Personhood:
- “Disability Discrimination” by Diane Coleman and Stephen Drake – We discuss evidence that Bill Peace’s account of feeling devalued and threatened in a healthcare setting may be just the tip of an ugly iceberg.
- “Disability Discrimination: Risky Business for “Consenting” Adults” – Philosopher Anita Silvers writes that Bill Peace’s account “stirs a familiar feeling of fear” – and one that may be shared by many visibly disabled people.
- “Disability Discrimination: A Doctor’s View” – Palliative care physician Theresa A. Soriano offers Bill Peace an apology for “the fear and alienation” a member of her own profession caused him. She outlines what the physician should have done, if he wanted to be helpful; things that are standard practice for those competent in communicating about palliative care.
Comments on any of the essays reacting to Bill Peace’s article are encouraged, but you have to register – which is a free and relatively painless process.
I’d like to add that the Hastings Center, like bioethics in general doesn’t “do” disability very often. Reactions to these articles from anyone – but especially folks in the disability community – might make them think the time has come to “do” disability more often.