Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-5608-8 • Hardback • June 2019 • $94.00 • (£72.00)
978-1-4985-5610-1 • Paperback • April 2023 • $39.99 • (£31.00)
978-1-4985-5609-5 • eBook • June 2019 • $89.00 • (£68.00)
Bianca Easterly is assistant professor of political science at Lamar University.
Chapter One – Historical Beginnings: The Policy Entrepreneurs of the Early Aid in Dying Movement
Chapter Two Modern Renewal
Chapter Three: Interest Groups
Chapter Four: The Courts
Chapter Five: Healthcare Coalitions
Chapter Six: End of Life Policies Today and Tomorrow
This work explores the politics and history of dignified death movements in the US, and the various historical roadblocks to legislation and how the climate has changed over time. Because the question of whether and when life should end is not inherently political, proposals have lacked unified legislative support. Early proponents of the aid-in-dying movement and advocates for an end-of-life policy found support with interest groups such as the Hemlock Society. Simultaneously, strong opposition came from the Roman Catholic Church and disability advocates. Early bills on aid-in-dying were also thwarted by fears related to eugenics and memories of World War II death camps. Later attempts at codification have emphasized the 14th Amendment and the concept of dignified death. Understanding how these movements have advanced in quest of unified political support and with reference to existing policies worldwide is an important goal advanced by the book. The author also surveys current legally enforceable tools and policies such as the living will, durable power of attorney for health care, and legalized physician aid-in-dying, as well as existing right-to-die laws. The future of official end-of-life policies is also considered.
Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.
— Choice Reviews
“Finally, a project that tackles the politics of end of life issues systematically with solid social science theory and attention to detail. Bianca Easterly explores how end of life issues emerge as one-sided morality politics in the American states, fail to be addressed by the national government, and will likely continue to follow a pattern of bottom-up federalism. Solidly researched and described, Easterly has provided valuable insight for scholars, students, and practitioners on a subject that only grows more important as the population ages.”
— Donald Haider-Markel, University of Kansas