Connecting the meanings of our life to the outer world.
A guide to the ethical issues surrounding death and dying.
Rapid advances in modern medicine and diagnostic techniques have revolutionized the way we think about death and the processes of dying. Where once death was defined as the absence of respiration or heartbeat, today patients can be kept alive for months or even years hooked up to a respirator and feeding tube. Ivan and Melrose carefully explain the various medical processes involved in death and dying.
In so doing they also face the many ethical, moral and legal dilemmas that confront doctors today, as well as the decisions to be taken by relatives. What, they ask, is the meaning of “life” when large areas of a person’s brain have suffered irreversible damage? And what of the ethical quandary when valuable hospital beds are occupied by people in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery?
The book includes:
- History of the definitions of death
- Persistent vegetative state
- The “Do not resuscitate” order
- Brain death
- Harvesting and transplanting organs
- Dying with dignity and palliative care
- The living will
- The right to die
- Euthanasia and assisted suicide
- Near-death experiences
- Life after death?
- Body, Mind and Soul