By Raymond A. Whiting
Whereas different books take care of the modern factor of definitely the right to die, no try has been made to illustrate considerably the ancient nature of this question past the borders of the U.S.. Whiting demonstrates that the ideal to die controversy stretches again greater than thousand years, and he explains how present attitudes and practices within the U.S. were stimulated by way of the felony and cultural improvement of the traditional western international. this attitude permits the reader to appreciate not just the origins of the talk, but in addition the various views that every age has contributed to the continued debate.Whiting discusses the advance of felony rights inside of either western tradition and the USA, then applies those advancements to the query of the correct to die. In an atmosphere of public debate that includes such emotional occasions because the exploits of Jack Kevorkian, the ebook of ways to suicide manuals, and the counterattacks of correct to existence teams, the us is left with only a few suggestions.
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Extra info for A Natural Right to Die: Twenty-Three Centuries of Debate (Contributions in Legal Studies)
The court announced that it would apply a strict version of the "clear and convincing evidence" standard. In applying the test, the court refused to allow the withdrawal of life support from a severely brain-damaged man because he had only made clear statements about not wishing to be kept alive if he were in a permanently unconscious condition. The court ruled that these two conditions were sufficiently different to require a more specific statement. In essence the court ruled that only statements about specific conditions could be honored (In re Martin 1995).
The court further concluded that the state had no law against assisting in a suicide and that therefore the doctor's actions could not be said to constitute a crime (New York Times, 14 December 1990, 1; 25 October 1991, 1). By 1983, state courts had begun to support the "right to die" more aggressively, in some instances even setting aside the limiting provisions of state living will legislation. In the case of Barber v. Superior Court, the court ruled that, the provisions of the California living will statute notwithstanding, its citizens had the right to refuse medical treatment and that this right could not be limited by any interpretation of the state's statute.
Marco Zancope, a veterinarian, openly admitted injecting a 33-year-old terminally ill women with a fatal dose of phenobarbital on August 28, 1997. This case became the first significant test of New York's ability to enforce its own law against assisted suicide. In theory it should have been an easy case. Dr. Zancope was not even a physician, he was a veterinarian, and he had openly admitted his acts. However, as is so often the case in assisted-suicide trials, the criminal justice system floundered in its efforts to move the case forward; in July of 1999, a Manhattan grand jury refused even to indict Dr.