Consider this case:
At 50, younger-Meredith (YM), just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, signs an advance directive (AD) expressing her preference that her doctors do not give her extraordinary treatment to keep her alive if she gets ill after having become demented. Meredith is an intellectual, someone who values the life of the mind, and she feels that to be kept alive when demented would make of her life a cruel joke. At 60, older-Meredith (OM) is demented but seemingly quite content with her life when she contracts pneumonia. When asked if she wants to be kept alive via extraordinary treatment, OM says yes. Whose preferences are morally authoritative, YM’s or OM’s?
Read more reflections on the case here.