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At liberty to die [electronic resource] : the battle for death with dignity in America / Howard Ball.

Author/Creator:
Ball, Howard, 1937-
Publication:
New York : New York University Press, 2012.
Format/Description:
Book
1 online resource (240 p.)
Status/Location:
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Subjects:
Right to die -- Law and legislation -- United States.
Assisted suicide -- Law and legislation -- United States.
Euthanasia -- Law and legislation -- United States.
Form/Genre:
Electronic books.
Language:
English
Summary:
Over the past hundred years, average life expectancy in America has nearly doubled, due largely to scientific and medical advances, but also as a consequence of safer working conditions, a heightened awareness of the importance of diet and health, and other factors. Yet while longevity is celebrated as an achievement in modern civilization, the longer people live, the more likely they are to succumb to chronic, terminal illnesses. In 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years, with a majority of American deaths attributed to influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia, or other diseases. In 2000, the average life expectancy was nearly 80 years, and for too many people, these long lifespans included cancer, heart failure, Lou Gehrig’s disease, AIDS, or other fatal illnesses, and with them, came debilitating pain and the loss of a once-full and often independent lifestyle. In this compelling and provocative book, noted legal scholar Howard Ball poses the pressing question: is it appropriate, legally and ethically, for a competent individual to have the liberty to decide how and when to die when faced with a terminal illness?At Liberty to Die charts how, the right of a competent, terminally ill person to die on his or her own terms with the help of a doctor has come deeply embroiled in debates about the relationship between religion, civil liberties, politics, and law in American life. Exploring both the legal rulings and the media frenzies that accompanied the Terry Schiavo case and others like it, Howard Ball contends that despite raging battles in all the states where right to die legislation has been proposed, the opposition to the right to die is intractable in its stance. Combining constitutional analysis, legal history, and current events, Ball surveys the constitutional arguments that have driven the right to die debate.
Contents:
Frontmatter
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The Changing Nature of Death in America
2. The Plight of the Incompetent Patient in a “Permanent Vegetative State” (PVS)
3. Terri Schiavo’s Tragic Odyssey, 1990–2005
4. What Freedom Do We Have to Die with Dignity ?
5. The Second Path to PAD: Passing Legislation Allowing Death with Dignity
6. The Pioneering PAD States
7. America’s Transplants
Notes
Cases Cited
Bibliography
Index
About the Author
Notes:
Description based upon print version of record.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN:
0-8147-6975-6
OCLC:
793995958
Publisher Number:
10.18574/9780814769751 doi