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Deconstructing DignityA Critique of the Right-to-Die Debate$
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Scott Cutler Shershow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226088129

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226088266.001.0001

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Sacrifice and the Right to Die

Sacrifice and the Right to Die

(p.121) Chapter Seven Sacrifice and the Right to Die
Deconstructing Dignity

Scott Cutler Shershow

University of Chicago Press

Building on previous chapters, this chapter argues that the whole debate about a right to die is pervaded, on both sides, by a logic of sacrificial calculation. This point is elaborated by consideration of a wide variety of texts: Samuel D. Williams’ “Euthanasia” (1870), Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche’s infamous Permitting the Destruction of Unworthy Life (1920), the “Declaration on Euthanasia” of the Catholic Church (1980), the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health (1990), Ronald Dworkin’s Life’s Dominion (1993), and several others. Among other points, arguments about euthanasia and its practical details prove to be inseparable from difficult questions of time and self-presence.

Keywords:   Samuel D. Williams, Binding and Hoche, Euthanasia, Doctrine of Double Effect, Cruzan v. Director, Ronald Dworkin, Robert P. George, Terry Schiavo, Karen Quinlan, John Protevi

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