關係的角度，檢討 2019 年 1 月 6 開始上路的《病人自主權利法》
This paper examine from the various concepts of death in bioethics and the
perspective of Confucian family relationship on the content and practice of the
“Patient Autonomy Right Act”, which becomes law in effect on January 6, 2019.
I first identify the right of autonomy of the patient in this Act is limited to
natural death with the right to refuse water and nutrition. Other methods using
acceleration of death, such as physician assisted suicide, and euthanasia are not
allowed. It does expand the diseases covered by the law of palliative
treatment, but still far from covering all those patients who need to employ the
right to be released from the terrible pain of the disease at the end of their life.
Another blocking of patient’s right of autonomy decision is the requirement of
medical consultation before this Act could be employ according to the will of
the patient to withdraw from medical treatment. Furthermore, the concept is
limited to the individualistic autonomy, which is different from the Confucian
traditional value of emphasis on family importance. I propose that the
participation of family in patient’s autonomy decision should be enhanced.
I argue that, under the ideal of filial piety of Confucianism within family
relation, “good death” could be achieved only when people achieve the ideal of
“without remorse in nurturing the alive and saying good bye to the deceased”.
It means that we have to understand the family relationship under basic concept
of filial piety. In this paper, we argue that Confucianism would not reject natural
death when the patient is under terrible pain which could not be diminished.
When there is no other way to release the great pain of the patient,
Confucianism would support the use of physician assisted suicide and even
euthanasia. However, the best alternative is the employment of the medical
treatment of terminal sedation with the patient died in painless coma.