Ptolemy Grey, physician-assisted suicide, and the Kantian question of the future

This conversation is one of the things I like about my job. I wish more people could have these kinds of discussions. Perhaps we wouldn’t be so averse to real questions of end-of-life decision-making if more people had time and luxury of thinking about the big questions.

I’ll just add that Danielle was a hold off too on this point – the podcast will release on Monday so you can hear the whole debate.

Lisa Schweitzer

Yesterday we had our Bedrosian Center book group discussion of the Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley. I am a great fan of Mosley’s writing in general, and this book has become one of my favorites. It is a very difficult book because of its complexity and tone, which is sad.

I brought up what I considered to be the central policy issue in the book–there are many–and I was surprised to discover that I was the only reader who viewed the central decision in the book to be about physician-assisted suicide. In short: Mr. Grey is 91 years old at the start of the book, and he is confused. He has been suffering dementia for some time, and he is living in squalor, among things he inexplicably hoards. He can’t seem to understand much of what is going on around him, but he does understand that his…

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