Rapid changes in medical care and in society's attitudes about
death have made the right-to-die debate a timely topic, but its
roots can be traced back to the founding of this country. High
school and college students can explore the history of this debate
through this unique collection of primary documents. Government
reports, court cases, statements from religious groups, and many
other contributions provide a thorough examination of the arguments
for and against allowing people to make their own decisions about
how and when they die. An explanatory introduction precedes each
document to aid the user in understanding the various arguments
that have been put forth in this debate, encouraging consideration
of all sides when drawing conclusions.
Such issues as attitudes toward death, mercy killings,
euthanasia, the development of living wills, and advance directives
are explored in detail and are traced back to their early roots.
Each of the volume's six parts examines a different subject within
the debate and provides records ranging from the high profile court
cases of Karen Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan to samples of living wills
to a statement from Pope Pius II. Zucker presents the reader with a
variety of ideas from many different people, including doctors,
patients, religious leaders, and government officials, and presents
a broad range of perspectives that will be a welcome resource for
students wishing to explore this highly emotional topic from as
many different angles as possible.
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