Download A Natural Right to Die: Twenty-Three Centuries of Debate by Raymond A. Whiting PDF

By Raymond A. Whiting

Whereas different books care for the modern factor of the precise to die, no test has been made to illustrate considerably the historical nature of this question past the borders of the USA. Whiting demonstrates that the appropriate to die controversy stretches again greater than thousand years, and he explains how present attitudes and practices within the U.S. were prompted via the felony and cultural improvement of the traditional western international. this attitude permits the reader to appreciate not just the origins of the debate, but additionally different views that every age has contributed to the continued debate.Whiting discusses the improvement of criminal rights inside of either western tradition and the U.S., then applies those advancements to the query of the precise to die. In an atmosphere of public debate that includes such emotional occasions because the exploits of Jack Kevorkian, the ebook of the way to suicide manuals, and the counterattacks of correct to lifestyles teams, the USA is left with only a few recommendations.

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Extra info for A Natural Right to Die: Twenty-Three Centuries of Debate (Contributions in Legal Studies)

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After this failure, the society was moved to redirect its efforts from New York to New Hampshire, where Dr. Hermann Sanders had injected air into the vein of a terminally ill patient in order to bring about his death. Amazingly, even though Dr. Sanders readily admitted the truth of all allegations made against him, state prosecutors were unable to obtain a conviction. Despite this apparent show of support among the inhabitants of New Hampshire, the Society's legislative initiative of 1950 once again failed (New York Times, 3 January 1950, sect.

In fact, 1999 turned out to be a watershed year, during which a number of states took steps to clarify their positions on a variety of issues surrounding euthanasia. In March of 1999, the Nebraska State Legislature took steps to provide its doctors, nurses, and pharmacists with immunity from prosecution for aggressively treating pain with controlled substances. The legislation provided immunity even when medical personnel prescribed medications in excess of their recommended dosages. The statute went further and required the state's medical board to develop a set of standards and procedures to guide doctors in this area (Choice in Dying 2000).

In the end, Dr. Kevorkian seemed almost to demonstrate a desire to be convicted. In his own defense, Dr. Kevorkian chose to call no witnesses and presented no evidence to contradict or challenge the prosecution's case. After only half a day of testimony from prosecutorial witnesses, the jury heard closing 34 A Natural Right to Die arguments and adjourned to deliberate. Not surprisingly, Dr. Kevorkian was convicted of second-degree murder (New York Times, 26 March 1999, A14). At Dr. Kevorkian's sentencing hearing, the widow and the brother of the terminally ill man he was convicted of killing made passionate appeals to the judge for leniency, but to no avail.

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