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From the Publisher
'...a gripping, lucid account of the legal, medical, and ethical history behind brutally difficult social decisions concerning who has the right to decide whether someone should live or die, and what reasons count as acceptable. Using a fresh narrative approach free of both abstraction and polemics, Ekland-Olson provides compelling stories of landmark cases that crystallized thought and motivated social movements to deal with ethical concerns associated with abortion, the preservation of life for desperately incurable infants, legal reforms to sterilize 'defective' human beings, medical experiments on vulnerable people, eugenics legislation to improve the health of the fittest, assisted dying, the occurrence of terrible post-Civil War lynchings, and the mottled history of capital punishment in the US...This volume includes a detailed table of contents, key quotations throughout, and an excellent bibliography. It should be read and discussed widely, for both its content and approach. Summing Up: Highly recommended.'
—S. A. Mason, Concordia University in CHOICE, May 2012