Jukka Varelius's Argument Analysis

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RECONSTRUCTION Jukka Varelius presents a sensitive topic about what should be done when a patient refuses a treatment that could save them. Patients have a right to refuse treatment due to autonomy, which is generally held with utmost importance in our culture when it comes to healthcare. However, Varelius argues that giving the refusing patient the treatment anyway may actually be the best way of upholding autonomy. He first begins his argument by making a distinction between the subjective and objective views of wellbeing (p.164-165). He explains these theories in regards to prudential principles. In the subjective theory, a patient’s wellbeing is dependent solely on their own opinion. On the other hand, in the objective theory, the wellbeing of the patient is dependent on more than one factor. Varelius then goes on to start…show more content…
After all, autonomy means that the patient is in charge of their own life and can make decisions for themselves. However, this argument did end up changing my viewpoint to an extent. By supporting his argument with the concept of a person’s wellbeing, the author causes me to believe that in some cases disregarding a patient’s wishes may be better for them. He does this by including the subjective and objective theories of wellbeing. In many cases, the objective theory is better because it is not dependent on only one factor. So, if we use this theory with regards to the refusing patient, it can be reasonably argued that saving the patient would allow them to continue a life making autonomous decisions. I agree that this would produce a better outcome than respecting the patient’s wishes of letting them die unnecessarily. However, I don’t believe this to be true for all cases. I believe that this argument is dependent upon the case because sometimes respecting a patient’s wishes can produce a better outcome than not respecting
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