Unplugged: Reclaiming Our Right to Die in America

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AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, 2006 - Medical - 272 pages
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"Medical technology has helped mankind conquer tuberculosis, polio, and countless other once certain-death diseases. It has given us hope against cancer and AIDS, allowed heart and brain surgeries that have saved untold numbers of lives, and delivered us from the pain and crippling legacy of injury. Medical technology, it seems, is a never-ending string of miracles.

But it is also a double-edged sword. More often than not, death today happens because of a decision to stop doing something, or to not do it at all. As the tragic life and death of Terri Schiavo so poignantly illustrated, universal definitions of life, death, nature, and many other concepts are elusive at best. Unplugged addresses the fundamental questions of the right-to-die debate, and discusses how the medical advances that bring so much hope and healing have also helped to create today’s dilemma.

This compelling book explores recent high-profile cases, including that of Mrs. Schiavo, and illuminates the complex legal, ethical, medical, and deeply personal issues of a debate that ultimately affects us all. Compassionate and beautifully written, the book helps readers understand the implications of current laws and proposed legislation, various medical options (including hospice), and the typical end-of-life decisions we all must face in order to make informed decisions for ourselves and our loved ones."

 

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Unplugged: reclaiming our right to die in America

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Many books have been written about right-to-die issues, but this one stands out for its reasoned, accessible approach. The lawyer for the landmark right-to-die case of Nancy Cruzan, Colby (Long ... Read full review

Contents

Terri Schiavos Private Years
3
Terri Schiavos Public Years
21
The Autopsy of Terri Schiavo
47
PART TWO
55
The Ascent of Medical Technology
57
The Law and the Right to Die
73
The Case of Nancy Cruzan
87
How We Die in America Today
95
But I Believe in the Right to Life
165
Special Concerns of the Disabled Community
175
Oregon v AshcroftGonzales and PhysicianAssisted Suicide
185
Hospice The Hidden Jewel
201
Where Do We Go from Here?
217
APPENDIX
221
NOTES
227
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND ADDITIONAL READING
249

Dying on the Institutional Glide Path
109
In Terri Schiavos Shoes
125
My Living Will
141
Feeding Tubes The Hardest Question
149
RESOURCES
253
INDEX
259
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

William Colby (Kansas City, MO) is the lawyer who represented the family of Nancy Cruzan in the first right-to-die case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. He has appeared on Larry King Live, Hardball, Frontline, Today, CBS This Morning, and many national news network programs. He is a Senior Fellow with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Washington, D.C. , and the author of Long Goodbye: The Deaths of Nancy Cruzan.

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