Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-1

Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Quote

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 2-7

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Foreword

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed national foundation that engages in nonpartisan analysis, study, research, and communication on significant issues in health policy. The Fund makes available the results of its work in meetings with decision-makers, reports, articles, and books. ...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

Good friends have read the manuscript of this book at various stages; I have accepted many of their recommendations, resisted some, and benefited throughout from their attention and support. My thanks to Bruce Ackerman, Steve Arons, Lee Bollinger, Bob Butler, Anne Burt, Linda Burt, Randy Curtis, ...

read more

1. Good Death

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-26

As a man going round taking names, death appears threatening, uncontrollable, robbing the living of their identity and leaving pain in his wake. There is no comfort in this vision, and American culture has not embraced it. We have sought comfort by imagining death in another format: a different man taking names, one might say— ...

read more

2. Hidden Death

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 27-46

In 1947, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rendered a decision that can be understood as both an early expression and a wise rejection of the reform impulse that was to erupt twenty years later into the dominant contemporary agenda for the dispensing of death. ...

read more

3. Death at War

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 47-66

From the end of the Civil War until the mid-twentieth century, an undeclared state of warfare existed between the “mentally normal” community and people with mental retardation or mental illness, between Whites and Blacks, and between the “living” and the “dying.” ...

read more

4. Judges and Death

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 67-86

The underlying elements in our shifting cultural attitude toward death—the loss of faith in traditional caretakers and the emergence of individual self-control as a preferred alternative to the old ethos—were revealed with special vividness in two court cases in the 1970s: ...

read more

5. Doctors and Death

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 87-105

If it is true that an underlying cultural attitude about death’s inherent wrongfulness has fueled past medical abuses against dying patients, the reformist move to patient self-determination would not be a reliable corrective, because dying people themselves would be prone to mirror the relentless hostility of their physicians. ...

read more

6. Choosing Death

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 106-122

Dying people, their families, and their physicians are all vulnerable to unruly psychological forces unleashed by the imminent prospect of death. The success of the contemporary reformist claim that death can be subject to rational control depends on the capacity of vulnerable people to tame these unruly forces. ...

read more

7. The Death Penalty

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 123-156

The death penalty is the paradigmatic expression of officially sanctioned involuntary killing. There is, moreover, no pretense of mercy; it is intended as punishment, even though constitutional norms against “cruel and unusual punishment” restrain its administration. ...

read more

8. All the Days of My Life

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 157-186

Our publicly proclaimed motives are impeccable: the death penalty must be administered without arbitrariness, without discrimination against racial minorities or poor people, and only with the most intense scrutiny by impartial judges to assure that the entire enterprise is beyond reproach. ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 187-218

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 219-221

Production Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 235-235