Hospice Or Hemlock?: Searching for Heroic Compassion

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - Family & Relationships - 209 pages
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End-of-life decision making is often viewed from an academic perspective, which can obscure the debate's central human concerns. This guide introduces general readers to people with personal stakes in the right-to-die conundrum. Putnam provides practical assistance to readers and their loved ones, simultaneously incorporating the abstract and theoretical analysis essential to examining how we die in contemporary Western society. She also presents the backgrounds of the Hospice and Right-to-Die (Hemlock) Movements.

To elucidate the human side of the debate, Putnam profiles and interviews six important figures:

* Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern Hospice Movement

* Derek Humphry, founder of The Hemlock Society in the U.S.

* Herbert Cohen, an early leader in euthanasia circles in The Netherlands

* Timothy Quill, whose assistance in a patient suicide resulted in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court

* Joanne Lynn, founder of Americans for Better Care for the Dying

* Jack Kevorkian (profiled, but unavailable for interview)

Another unique feature of this book is the application of philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson's general theory of rights to the very specific right to die. Pointing to potential compatibilities between the two positions, she concludes that heroic compassion does not require a final choice between Hospice and Hemlock-there may be room enough for both.

 

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Contents

The Matter of Death
1
Origins of the Debate
25
STARTING WITH HIPPOCRATES
28
HOSPICE
30
DAME CICELY SAUNDERS86
41
HEMLOCK
44
DEREK HUMPHRY
51
Whose Death Is It Anyway?
65
HERBERT COHEN
129
MEDICAL HELP
132
TIMOTHY QUILL
135
Putting Principles into Practice
149
USING INTERNAL PRINCIPLES FOR EVALUATION
157
PAIN AND DIGNITYOFLIFE ARGUMENTS
159
THE TRAJECTORY OF A LIFE
161
DOCTORPATIENT DIALOGUE
164

KINDS OF RIGHTS
69
THE RIGHT TO DIE
70
KILLING VS LETTING DIE
82
THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION
93
Dealing with Death
105
DOITYOURSELF HELP
110
JACK KEVORKIAN
115
LEGAL HELP
118
JOANNE LYNN
168
Death Matters
177
COMMON GROUND COMPROMISES AND CONCLUSIONS
178
CONSEQUENCES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY
183
HOSPICE AND HEMLOCK
186
For Further Reading
197
Index
201
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

CONSTANCE E. PUTNAM is a independent scholar and writer who specializes in medical history and medical ethics. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

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