In the Arms of Others: A Cultural History of the Right-to-die in America
When, if ever, is life no longer worth living? When, if ever, is it right to withdraw life-support or hasten death? These questions which confront physicians, bioethicists, social workers, the children of aging parents, and sooner or later almost everyone now receive increasingly urgent attention in American society. Peter Filene s In the Arms of Others is the first book to set this dilemma into broad historical and cultural context. It is, in other words, a history of the right to die as viewed in the United States. With the narrative skills he has displayed in his fiction, Mr. Filene takes the reader into the lives and feelings of people who have struggled with the predicament of modern dying. Beginning with the nineteenth-century background and the rise of medical technology, he moves quickly to the landmark case of Karen Ann Quinlan, who became in the 1970s the macabre protagonist of a melodrama that crystallized the nation's consciousness and produced a legal benchmark. Mr. Filene explores the maze of bioethical arguments surrounding this and succeeding cases, and guides readers through complex questions with remarkable lucidity. Ultimately, he argues, we must acknowledge that traditional American self-determination is not sufficient to resolve terrible questions of life and death; what we need is an ethic of relatedness."
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
A Good Death
The Subjectivity of Dying
7 other sections not shown
Advance Directives alive American Angeles April asked assisted suicide attorney autonomy Baby bioethicists body brain cancer Catholic CBS Morning Chicago Tribune coma cultural daughter Death with Dignity December decide decision doctors Ethical euthanasia Father Trapasso February feeding tube Glick Hastings Center Health hospital Ibid ill patients incompetent Infant Doe issue JAMA January Jersey Jersey Supreme Court Joseph Quinlan Journal Judge Julia Quinlan June justices Karen Ann Quinlan Karen Quinlan killing later life-prolonging life-support living Medicine modern dying months moral Morse Nancy Cruzan NEJM Newsweek November nursing home October October 22 pain parents Paul Armstrong percent persistent vegetative person physicians poll pro-life prolong Quotation quoted refuse respirator right of privacy right-to-die Robert Saikewicz self-determination September September 19 Social someone story suffering Supreme Court terminally ill tients tion treatment trial University Press vegetative wanted Washington Post withdraw wrote York Daily