Death Is That Man Taking Names: Intersections of American Medicine, Law, and Culture
University of California Press, 2002 M11 12 - 232 páginas
The American culture of death changed radically in the 1970s. For terminal illnesses, hidden decisions by physicians were rejected in favor of rational self-control by patients asserting their "right to die"—initially by refusing medical treatment and more recently by physician-assisted suicide. This new claim rested on two seemingly irrefutable propositions: first, that death can be a positive good for individuals whose suffering has become intolerable; and second, that death is an inevitable and therefore morally neutral biological event. Death Is That Man Taking Names suggests, however, that a contrary attitude persists in our culture—that death is inherently evil, not just in practical but also in moral terms. The new ethos of rational self-control cannot refute but can only unsuccessfully try to suppress this contrary attitude. The inevitable failure of this suppressive effort provokes ambivalence and clouds rational judgment in many people's minds and paradoxically leads to inflictions of terrible suffering on terminally ill people.
Judicial reforms in the 1970s of abortion and capital punishment were driven by similarly high valuations of rationality and public decision-making—rejecting physician control over abortion in favor of individual self-control by pregnant women and subjecting unsupervised jury decisions for capital punishment to supposed rationally guided supervision by judges. These reforms also attempt to suppress persistently ambivalent attitudes toward death, and are therefore prone to inflicting unjustified suffering on pregnant women and death-sentenced prisoners.
In this profound and subtle account of psychological and social forces underlying American cultural attitudes toward death, Robert A. Burt maintains that unacknowledged ambivalence is likely to undermine the beneficent goals of post-1970s reforms and harm the very people these changes were intended to help.
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Death Is That Man Taking Names: Intersections of American Medicine, Law, and ...
Robert A. Burt
Vista previa limitada - 2004
abortion abuse acknowledge administration ambivalence American apparent assisted suicide attitudes attorney authority Blackmun capital punishment caretaking choice cians Civil claim commit contemporary conviction Court majority criminal cultural death penalty death-dispensing decision dissenting doctors dying patients escalating ethos euthanasia execution experience federal fetus Freud Furman guilt Hand Hand's hastened death hospital human impulse individual infliction initial Jerome Frank judges judicial jury Justice Karen Ann Karen Ann Quinlan Learned Hand life-prolonging medical treatment medicine ment mental mercy killing Milgram Milgram experiments moral murder Nazi nonetheless numbers Nuremberg Code opinion pain percent persistent physi physician-assisted suicide physicians practice Press professional psychological public visibility rational refusal regime Rehnquist Reinhardt Repouille Repouille's response restrictions role Saul Schur self-determination sense sentence Sigmund Freud social specific Spenkelink's statutes suffering supra note Supreme Court teacher-subjects terminal sedation terminally ill tion tive underlying Univ Vietnam wrongdoing wrongfulness Yale York
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