Death Is That Man Taking Names: Intersections of American Medicine, Law, and Culture - PDF free download eBook

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Details of Death Is That Man Taking Names: Intersections of American Medicine, Law, and Culture

Death Is That Man Taking Names: Intersections of American Medicine, Law, and Culture
Exact title of book
Death Is That Man Taking Names: Intersections of American Medicine, Law, and Culture
Book author
Robert A. Burt
ISBN
9780520232822
Published
Nov 12, 2002
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
232
File size (in PDF)
2088 kB

Some brief overview of book

The American culture of death changed radically in the 1970s. For terminal illnesses, hidden decisions made 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 seeking physician-assisted suicide. This new approach rested on two seemingly irrefutable propositions - first, that death can be a positive outcome for individuals whose suffering has become intolerable; and second, that death is an inevitable and therefore morally neutral biological event.

In Death Is That Man Taking Names, Robert A. Burt suggests, however, that a contrary attitude persists in our culture - that death is inherently evil, not just in practical but also in moral terms. He maintains that the ethos of rational self-control cannot refute, but can only try unsuccessfully to suppress, this contrary attitude.

The inevitable failure of this suppressive effort provokes ambivalence and clouds rational judgment in many peoples minds, paradoxically leading to inflictions of terrible suffering on terminally ill people. In the 1970s, judicial reforms of capitol-punishment and abortion policy 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 jury decisions for capital punishment to rationally guided supervision by judges. These reforms, too, attempted to suppress persistently ambivalent attitudes toward death and therefore have been prone to inflicting unjustified suffering on pregnant women and death-sentenced prisoners.

About book author

A. Burt is Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law at Yale University.

He is the author of The Constitution in Conflict (1992), Two Jewish Justices Outcasts in the Promised Land (California, 1981), and Taking Care of Strangers The Rule of Law in Doctor-Patient Relations (1979). eath is an inevitable and therefore morally neutral biological event. In Death Is That Man Taking Names, Robert A. Burt suggests, however, that a contrary attitude persists in our culture - that death is inherently evil, not just in practical but also in moral terms.

He maintains that the ethos of rational self-control cannot refute, but can only try unsuccessfully to suppress, this contrary attitude. The inevitable failure of this suppressive effort provokes ambivalence and clouds rational judgment in many peoples minds, paradoxically leading to inflictions of terrible suffering on terminally ill people. In the 1970s, judicial reforms of capitol-punishment and abortion policy 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 jury decisions for capital punishment to rationally guided supervision by judges.

These reforms, too, attempted to suppress persistently ambivalent attitudes toward death and therefore have been prone to inflicting unjustified suffering on pregnant women and death-sentenced prisoners.

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