Download A Natural Right to Die: Twenty-Three Centuries of Debate by Raymond A. Whiting PDF

By Raymond A. Whiting

Whereas different books take care of the modern factor of the precise to die, no try has been made to illustrate considerably the ancient nature of this question past the borders of the USA. Whiting demonstrates that the suitable to die controversy stretches again greater than thousand years, and he explains how present attitudes and practices within the U.S. were prompted via the felony and cultural improvement of the traditional western global. this attitude permits the reader to appreciate not just the origins of the talk, but additionally the various views that every age has contributed to the continued debate.Whiting discusses the advance of felony rights inside of either western tradition and the USA, then applies those advancements to the query of the proper to die. In an atmosphere of public debate that includes such emotional occasions because the exploits of Jack Kevorkian, the ebook of the way to suicide manuals, and the counterattacks of correct to lifestyles teams, the us is left with only a few strategies.

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Additional info for A Natural Right to Die: Twenty-Three Centuries of Debate (Contributions in Legal Studies)

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This vote cleared the way for a vote in the Senate as a whole, but the Senate clearly seemed to desire ongoing discussion of the bill before it was brought up for a vote (DeathNe, Senate Judiciary Committee, 2000). While the backing of the American Medical Association had significantly strengthened support for the bill, articles appearing in such prestigious publications as the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that many American doctors believed the act would hurt, rather than encourage, pain relief or palliative care in the United States (Orentlicher and Caplan 2000).

In deciding the case, the New Jersey Supreme Court specifically chose not to base its decision on the free exercise clause of the First Amendment; it elected, rather, to set the standard for all "right to die" cases by basing its decision to allow the removal of the respirator on Ms. Quinlan's right to privacy, as exercised through her parent/guardian (In re Quinlan 1976). s In his comprehensive history of the "right to die," Henry Glick describes the Quinlan case as a galvanizing event. " He goes on to note that "from 1976 until the end of 1990, dozens of appellate court cases were decided in 17 states, affecting the use of life-support systems and other treatment of the terminally ill and those in a persistent vegetative state" (Glick 1992, 15).

Generally speaking, patients in a persistent vegetative state died from secondary illnesses and/or dehydration without excessive passage of time. Pneumonia, tuberculosis, and influenza were common before the widespread use of antibiotics. Heretofore, most people died at home and thus did not have the aid—or burden—of modern medical machinery. Advances in surgery and in disease and infection control, along with the advent of new technology such as intravenous feeding tubes, cardiopulmonary bypass machines, and ventilators, served not only to improve the general health of society, but also to increase the frequency with which individuals were kept technically alive, but in conditions that may be seen as personally undesirable (Glick 1992, 12-14).

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