It’ s clear that along with the disease development, a person with Alzheimer’ s constantly experiences a decrease of any intellectual activity. Official medical institutions generally base their diagnosis on physical body analysis like MRI and other types of brain scanning. What they observe is a spreading within the cortex brain damage which ends with “ the brain shrinks dramatically over time” (“ Inside the Brain” ). Yet Dillmann points, that during the whole history of AD, a possibility of a distinction of the disease only “ on clear clinical or pathological grounds” has been widely argued (137).
The point is that Alzheimer’ s have obvious similarities with normal aging, and thus, has been widely compared to normal aging, even in present times (Dillmann 137). The statistics firstly gives the opportunity of the ambiguity. “ The disease mainly affects people over 65” , and risk increase along with aging: “ One in six people over 80 have dementia” (“ What is Alzheimer’ s disease” ). In its turn, clinical medicine points on rare cases of early Alzheimer’ s (“ What is Alzheimer’ s disease” ). Meanwhile, the brain damage, caused by AD also inconvertible (drugs may only bring relief and delay) and leads to a full inability of decision-making.
Therefore, on later stages, doctors and family usually treat a person with AD with disregard to his/ her will of being treated. Thus, a socio-cultural context is involved: can another person (persons) or society in general, make a decision on behalf of the ill person? Hughes points on modern health care and social tendency on autonomy: “ Autonomy is generally in priority” (381). That means, a person with dementia should be treated, but if this person wishes not to take drugs or not to attend talking therapies, treatment should be declined (Hughes 381).
Yet due to a specific of AD, on later stages, a person with Alzheimer’ s cannot make a decision about life because of physical damage.
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