Honors Program

Midway Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Allen Coates

Thesis Professor Department

Philosophy and Humanities

Thesis Reader(s)

Allen Coates, Justin Capes, Cassandra Eagle


Maintaining the proper physician-patient relationship in health care is vital to the well-being of patients, especially when considering end of life decisions such as euthanasia. Because this topic has been in the forefront of media in recent years, there appears to be a need to understand how the relationship between physician and patient works in these practical situations, as well as understand what the most appropriate model of patient care is in regards to maintaining patient autonomy. However, before this can be done this paper will begin with a brief look at the overall permissibility of euthanasia, using the arguments of Dan Brock and Leon Kass.

Once the issue of permissibility is discussed, I continue by investigating three main models of patient care presented by Linda and Ezekiel Emanuel: informative, interpretive, and deliberative. Each of these models presents a different view of patient autonomy that changes how the physician and patient interact. By discussing the philosophical requirements of autonomy presented by philosophers such as Harry Frankfurt, Susan Wolf, and Andrea Westlund, I argue that the deliberative model of patient care provides the most sufficient view of autonomy while also protecting the physician-patient relationship and patient well-being.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Philosophy Commons