Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Philosophy


Philosophy and Religion

First Advisor

Neil Manson

Second Advisor

Deborah Mower

Third Advisor

Sarah Moses

Relational Format



Atul Gawande, MD, affirms the inevitability of human mortality and the end of life in natural death. He decries current medical delivery’s incessant momentum toward medicalized death and recommends a meaningful conversation between doctor and patient to chart a course of care that supports what is important to the patient. But the tradition of a doctor’s dominance and a patient’s submissiveness disrupts the conversation. New definitions of both doctor and patient, and the intent to respect a patient’s autonomy, will facilitate decision-making and support patients’ values at the end of life, diminishing the momentum of medicalized death.



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